HLCA at EUPHA`s European Public Health Week

At this year`s European Public Health Week, HLCA will organize two webinars on child and adolescent health literacy back-to-back.

The European Public Health Week (EUPHW) aims to raise awareness about public health and promote collaboration among the public health community in Europe. EPHW is an annual initiative that began in 2019. More Information can be accessed here.

The HLCA webinars will take place on May 16 between 10.00h and 12.00h CET. More information below.

New Article

International Understandings of Health Literacy in Childhood and Adolescence

A Qualitative-Explorative Analysis of Global Expert Interviews


Tessa Schulenkorf, Kristine Sørensen, Orkan Okan


Background: With regard to children and adolescents, health literacy should only not be understood as an individual ability, but rather as dependent based on its contextual determinants. The study examines how experts define health literacy in childhood and adolescence and discusses whether they include these factors.

Methods: In 48 interviews with experts from 32 countries, specific questions for defining health literacy in childhood and adolescence were analyzed. Data analysis was conducted according to the summary of the qualitative content analysis. Main categories and subcategories were developed exploratively and inductively.

Results: No expert had an official definition of health literacy in childhood or adolescence. There were more experts who located health literacy only at the individual level alone than those who located it at both the individual and contextual levels. On the individual level, there was a focus on information processing, knowledge, behavior, and skills. At the contextual level, system responsibility, the ability of others, and relationship between age and development were the main points.

Conclusions: To develop an adequate method of dealing with health literacy in the target group, there must be a target group-specific consideration of the dependencies, ages, and developmental stages of that group. While this is considered as consensus in scientific discourse, it has seemingly not yet been adopted in development-related policies internationally.


Health literacy and health behavior in adolescence: results of a nationwide online survey among adolescents

Olga Maria Domanska, Anne-Kathrin M. Loer, Christiane Stock und Susanne Jordan


There is lack of information about the association between health literacy and health behavior in Germany, although strengthening health literacy is regarded as a promising approach to promote health behavior, especially for young people in adolescence.


Start of the GeKoJu survey

Good news, the GeKoJu survey of the MOHLAA project has just started.

In the course of this representative survey the health literacy of 1000 adolescents aged between 14 and 17 years will be assessed.

Congratulations to the MOHLAA team and good luck with the survey – fingers crossed.

More details can be accessed on the homepage of the RKI.

Mental Health Literacy: IMPRES team in Canada

The IMPRES project plans to implement a classroom intervention to promote mental health of students and to reduce the stigma of mental illness. The intervention will be located in Bielefeld (under the name “STABIEL”) and is based on a Canadian teen mental health curriculum resource (Mental Health & High School Curriculum Guide – TeenMentalHealth.org, Twitter: @TMentalHealth). In order to further improve the adaptation ideas for the German version of the curriculum, we travelled to Canada to learn from the developers and experts currently working on and with the program.




New article on health literacy in schools

Health Literacy—Talking the Language of (School) Education

A recently published article in the journal Health Literacy Research and Practice discusses health literacy in context of schools.

The links between school education and health have been of interest to researchers for several decades, and health literacy in particular has been associated with the health-promoting school approach for almost 20 years (St Leger, 2001; St Leger & Nutbeam, 2000). From an educational perspective, this is not surprising because there is little doubt that health literacy is a competence that contributes to health skill development and can be facilitated through educational practices.

Link to article.

@HLRPJournal Twitter

New Publication: International Handbook of Health Literacy

International Handbook of Health Literacy: Research, Practice and Policy across the Life-Span

This International Handbook of Health Literacy draws on a new perspective in health literacy and should be seen as a spearhead for new thinking that aims to provide an overview of the multifaceted and multidimensional nature of health literacy by adopting a lifespan perspective, while addressing research, practice and policy. Weiterlesen

Call for abstracts: Special Issue Health Literacy

Special Issue “Health Literacy and Equity – Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Recent Trends in Health Literacy Research and Action around the World”

Special Issue Homepage

Dear Colleagues,

We are happy to inform you that the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) has invited us to edit a Special Issue on “Health Literacy and Equity—Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Recent Trends in Health Literacy Research and Action Around the World.” Health literacy is a Sustainable Development Goal and a 21st century action-oriented approach to public health, health promotion, education, and health care. Health literacy describes essential skills and situational resources needed for people to find, understand, evaluate, communicate, and use information and services in a variety of forms across various settings throughout the life-course. In this sense, enhancing health literacy in populations and systems is critical to achieving health equity. Thus, health literacy is increasingly recognized as a cross-cutting global issue and health determinant and is the focus of a growing body of interdisciplinary and international research, practice, and policy.


New Book: International Handbook of Health Literacy

International Handbook of Health Literacy: Research, Practice and Policy across the Life-Span

Link zum Buch

Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC license. Health literacy addresses a range of social dimensions of health including knowledge, navigation, communication as well as individual and organizational skills for accessing, understanding, evaluating and using of information. Especially over the past decade, health literacy has become a major public health concern globally as an asset for promoting health, wellbeing and sustainable development.

This comprehensive handbook provides an invaluable overview of current international thinking about health literacy, highlighting cutting edge research, policy and practice in the field. With a diverse team of contributors, the book addresses health literacy across the life-span and offers insights from different populations and settings. Providing a wide range of major findings, the book outlines current discourse in the field and examines necessary future dialogues and new perspectives.

Edited by Orkan Okan, Ullrich Bauer, Diane Levin-Zamir, Paulo Pinheiro and Kristine Sørensen

Publisher: Policy Press Bristol

Publication date: 31.7.2019

Strengthening networking and health literacy for a health promoting school: A supra-regional exchange

Coordinator Ullrich Bauer will give a presentation on health literacy and schools:

National Action Plan Health Literacy: What can schools contribute? Are there any intersections?

Veranstalter: Fachstelle Gesundheitsziele im Land Brandenburg in Trägerschaft von Gesundheit Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. in Kooperation mit dem Bezirksverband AWO Potsdam e.V.

Die Institution Schule fungiert als Knotenpunkt bzw. Scharnier zwischen Kindern, Familien, Lehrkräften, Institutionen, weiterführenden Schulen, spezialisierten Einrichtungen des sozialen Hilfssystems, Bildungseinrichtungen und Betrieben.

Wann: Mittwoch, 7.11.2018 von 9.00 bis 15.45 Uhr

Wo: Bürgerhaus am Schlaatz, Schilfhof 28, 14478 Potsdam

New HLCA Article: Strengthening Health Literacy in the Edcuation Sector

Strengthening Health Literacy in the Edcuation Sector

U. Bauer, O. Okan, K. Hurrelmann

Am 19. Februar 2018 wurde der „Nationale Aktionsplan Gesundheitskompetenz“ (NAP) der Öffentlichkeit vorgestellt. Darin werden die wichtigsten Herausforderungen für eine  Verbesserung der Gesundheitskompetenz der Bevölkerung aufgelistet, gezielte Empfehlungen ausgesprochen und Handlungsfelder zur Umsetzung definiert. Gesundheitskompetenz ist ein vergleichsweise junges Forschungsfeld, in dem die Zielgruppen der Kinder und Jugendlichen vor allem im Zusammenhang mit Bildung und Erziehung gegenwärtig durch Wissenschaft und Politik vermehrt Aufmerksamkeit erhalten. Der Blick in die Debatte verdeutlicht einerseits, Weiterlesen

Latest article: National Action Plan Health Literacy: Need, Objective and Content

National Action Plan Health Literacy: Need, Objective and Content

Authors: Doris Schaeffer, Klaus Hurrelmann, Ullrich Bauer, Kai Kolpatzik, Svea Gille, Dominique Vogt



In recent years, studies on health literacy of the population have been conducted in many  countries. Most of them show that health literacy levels are worse than expected and that large parts of the population have low health literacy levels. National strategies and action  plans to promote health literacy have been developed in many countries to address these results. Following these examples, a National Action Plan on Health Literacy was also  developed for Germany. A panel of 15 experts was involved in the 2-year development  process. Based on an analysis of available literature on health literacy and existing action plans, the concept, objectives and priorities of the action plan were defined, and  recommendations were developed. The National Action Plan on Health Literacy formulates recommendations in the fields of living environments, the healthcare system, chronic  illness, and research. Weiterlesen