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The European Health Literacy Survey [HLS-EU] [2007113] - Project
General objectives

Health Literacy Survey EU (HLS EU) helps to establish the issue of health literacy (HL) in Europe. This is achieved in two main ways:
- The project contributes to further develop and differentiate the concept of HL, looking at its manifestation in various European regions and cultures, and to demonstrate its overall social and political impact.
- The project will show ways of operationalising HL in various national contexts, implementing working structures and formulating policy impulses and strategies.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

There exist few instrumentsand little population-level data on HL. Furthermore, there is no data on many of the competencies for health in many countries. HLS EU fills several of these gaps, with the added value of comparability and knowledge transfer at both national and European levels. Valorisation aims at awareness for the issue of HL and its policy implications. HLS EU also facilitates the measurement of HL. This is essential for analysing the impact of community policies on health. HLS EU responds directly to “supporting the exchange of information and experience on good practice“ by founding a new initiative and partnership to assess and improve HL in Europe.

Methods and means

The Swiss HL Survey (HLS CH) serves as a basis for adaptation. Improvements and incorporation of work in adult literacy leads to a new state-of-the-art instrument for HLS EU. HLS EU is carried out as face-to face interviews in 9 European countries. Use of Eurobarometer methodology facilitates adoption of HLS EU or parts thereof in the new European health monitoring and social survey system. Survey results will be taken up by National Advisory Boards for valorisation activities.

Expected outcomes period

HLS EU constitutes a European network as the first multi-national expert group on HL in Europe. It will provide datasets for European and national valorisation and insight into European HL diversity. National Advisory Boards are constituted for long-term political implementation of HL.

Start date: 01/01/2009
End date: 01/03/2012
Duration: 38 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: First Programme of Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008)
EC Contribution: € 706 550,88