AbstractBackgroundHealth literacy is of growing importance in public health research in Germany. People with good health literacy are likely to make better health decisions. A large proportion of the German population, not just vulnerable groups, has a problematic or insufficient health literacy.AimsThe study describes the health literacy of students at a German health university. It investigates the influence of sociodemographic and course-related factors on health literacy. The results are compared with those of the general population from Germany.MethodologyStudy participants were recruited by email. 203 students took part in the online survey (response rate 20.2%). From the European Health Literacy Questionaire 16 (HLS-EU-Q16) 127 datasets of students were completely available and were analyzed in this study. In addition to health literacy, sociodemographic and course-related factors were ascertained.Results39 (30.7%) of the students have a sufficient or excellent health literacy. On average, health literacy is lower in the group of students of health-related courses (M=30.6) than in the normal German population (M=34.5). The levels are particularly low in the dimensions of appraising and applying of health information.ConclusionThe results must be interpreted with care. They can be used as a base for long-term monitoring of students’ health literacy and provide starting points for health promotion within the academic setting. Students of health-related degree should be encouraged to reflect on their own and others health literacy, as this is important for their future work with patients or clients.
International Journal of Health Professions – de Gruyter
Published: Apr 25, 2018
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