Health literacy is seen as an essential assumption for equal health opportunities. However, the first European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU, 2009-2012) as well as further studies in European and Asian countries showed that a large part of the population has limited health literacy. For Germany, the first representative study on health literacy (HLS-GER) even showed that more than half of the population has low health literacy and therefore difficulties in accessing, understanding, appraising, and applying health information.
Based on the HLS-GER, a first data base on health literacy of the population in Germany could be provided. In order to expand it a repeated survey is currently being conducted (HLS-GER 2). The HLS-GER 2 is Part of the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS19) which is planned and carried out as a project of the WHO Action Network on Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL).
The aim of the project is a renewed analysis of health literacy in Germany in order to expand and deepen the existing database on health literacy in Germany, to enable comparisons between the participating countries of the HLS19 and to create a prerequisite for intervention development.
The conceptual and methodological approach is closely related to the first quantitative survey on Health Literacy in Germany and the European Health Literacy Survey. A representative and personal survey of 2.000 persons of the German population will be conducted. One central issue is to extend the survey to new key topics such as Digital Health Literacy or Navigation Health Literacy.
WHO Action Network on Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL)
The M-POHL Network was established under the umbrella of WHO Europe’s Health Information Initiative (EHII) in February 2018 with the adoption of the Vienna Statement on the Measurement of Health Literacy in Europe. The member states of M-POHL participate in the network with a scientific and a political representation. The network provides the framework for a regular measurement of population- and organization-specific health literacy data and initiates the HLS19 as the first important step towards the achievement of this objective.