2012 European IUHPE Health Promotion Conference in Tallinn, Estonia

Abstract submission

TitleInequalities in and social gradients of Health Literacy in Europe – Results from the HLS-EU study
Keywordshealth literacy, social gradient, inequality
In the discourse on health literacy (HL) there is consensus on the relevance of social gradients of HL as important cause for the health gap. But empirical evidence for social gradients of HL mainly is limited to the USA, Canada and Australia, rather measured for general functional literacy than for health literacy proper and mostly for patients and not for general populations. The HLS-EU study allows measuring social gradients of HL on a population basis for eight EU-memberstates by one comprehensive instrument for HL and, for comparative reasons, also by the NVS-test for functional health literacy.

Based on a definition and a conceptual model for HL an instrument for measuring self perceived HL in the three domains of health care, disease prevention and health promotion has been developed (Sorensen et al. 2012). The instrument was applied in the HLS-EU survey, where HL and the NVS-test were measured alongside socio-demographic or socioeconomic indicators and health related variables. The survey was conducted with CAPI methodology, following Eurobarometer guidelines, by TNS-opinion in 8 European countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Germany (NRW), Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland) for populations 15+ by stratified random samples of 1000 participants per country. Indices for HL have been constructed and multivariate analyses executed.

Significant social gradients of HL for various socio-demographic and socio-economic indicators to differing extents can be demonstrated by the HLS-EU study. Extent or levels of HL differ considerably between the 8 countries, but also social gradients for the same indicator vary remarkably by country. Interesting differences for the two measures, HLS-EU HL index or NVS-test, also have been found.
This complex situation of different levels and associations of HL in Europe has consequences for national health promotion policies and requires somewhat different health promotion interventions in different countries.
Submission typeabstract

Abstract authors

Last name First name Organization Country Email
Pelikan Jürgen M. LBIHPR Vienna AT juergen.pelikan [ätt] lbihpr.lbg.ac.at
Röthlin Florian LBIHPR Vienna AT florian.roethlin [ätt] lbihpr.lbg.ac.at
Ganahl Kristin LBIHPR AT kristin.ganahl [ätt] lbihpr.lbg.ac.at

2012 European IUHPE Health Promotion Conference in Tallinn, Estonia
This abstract collection has been issued on CD as ISBN 978-9949-30-697-8 under the title "9th European IUHPE Health Promotion Conference. Abstract Compendium."
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