skip to main contentskip to main menuskip to footer Universität Bielefeld Play Search
  • School of Public Health

    AG 6: Department of Health Services Research and Nursing Science  

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    © Universität Bielefeld

Health Literacy in Germany – HLS-GER 3

© Universität Bielefeld

Health literacy is a crucial prerequisite for achieving health equity. However, existing studies, such as the first and second European Health Literacy Surveys (HLS-EU, 2009-2012; HLS19, 2019-2021), have demonstrated that large parts of the population in Europe have low health literacy, facing difficulties in accessing, understanding, appraising, and applying health-related information. This is particularly true for Germany, where, according to the results of the Health Literacy Survey Germany one and two (HLS-GER 1; HLS-GER 2), over half of the population shows low health literacy, and health literacy has further declined over time.

The HLS-GER 3 builds upon these studies. It focuses on a repeated survey of the health literacy of the population in Germany, expanding with new emphases. The aim of the study is to enable a time comparison and examine changes in health literacy, providing a foundation for targeted intervention development to promote health literacy and enhance health equity. Simultaneously, specific aspects of health literacy (sub-literacies) such as "Digital Health Literacy," "Navigational Health Literacy," and "Disaster Health Literacy" will be examined. Additionally, a regional focus should be set.

Conceptually and methodologically, the quantitative survey closely follows the previous assessments, particularly the HLS-GER 2 study. A representative, face-to-face survey of at least 2,000 adults in the German residential population will be conducted. The instruments developed during the HLS19 and HLS-GER 2 for assessing health literacy and specific sub-literacies such as Digital Health Literacy and Navigational Health Literacy will be employed. A new instrument will be developed for the topic of Disaster Health Literacy. Additionally, a regional oversampling is considered to gather more in-depth data for specific federal states.

WHO Action Network on Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL)
The HLS-GER 3 study is part of the "WHO Action Network on Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL)." The M-POHL network was established in February 2018 under the Health Information Initiative (EHII) of WHO Europe, following the adoption of the Vienna Declaration on Measuring Health Literacy in Europe. It serves as a framework for the regular measurement of population- and organization-specific data on health literacy in Europe.

Project lead
Prof. Dr. Doris Schaeffer, (Bielefeld University)
Prof. Dr. Michael Ewers, (Co-project lead, Charité Berlin)
Prof. Dr. Klaus Hurrelmann (Co-project lead, Hertie School)

M-POHL-Netzwerk (mit dem Internationalen Koordinierungscenter (ICC) der Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG))

Project staff
Dr. Lennert Griese

04/2024 to 06/2026

Funded by
Bosch Health Campus der Robert Bosch Stiftung

back to top