HILK - Development of a Health Information Literacy Knowledge Test

Project details

Funding Budgetary funds
Grant Term April 2015 -
Principal Investigators Dr. Anne-Kathrin Mayer
Project Staff B.Sc. Julia Holzhäuser (-March 2016); Dipl.-Psych. Veronika Kuhberg


Project Description

The term health literacy denotes the ability to reach decisions in everyday life which have positive effects on individual health. One central aspect of health literacy is health information literacy, i.e. the ability to obtain reliable as well as »up-to-date« health information from multiple sources (e.g., physicians, scientific publications, web pages), and to evaluate and weigh this information adequately. Health information literacy forms an essential basis for well-founded decisions about individual health behaviors and interactions with the health system (e.g., acceptance of medical treatment).

Until now, health information literacy is usually assessed by self-reports or by achievement tests which cover basic literacies like reading and interpreting medical information (e.g., understanding prescription orders for the intake of a medicine). However, there are no tests assessing competencies regarding the goal-directed search and critical evaluation of health information.

Therefore, a multiple choice test of health information literacy was devised. The test is based on general process models of information literacy and information problem solving as well as models of health literacy. It aims at assessing the level of declarative knowledge with reference to the search and evaluation of health information. In a pilot study including a sample of students, the measure was tested and validated. The final version is applied in additional studies with students and non-academic samples to work on specific research questions from the fields of "health literacy" and "health information literacy".

For example, a dissertation project analyzes health information literacy of vocational school students. The project aims at modelling the relations between health information literacy, health interest, personality variables, and health-related beliefs.









Contact person

Dr. Anne-Kathrin Mayer
Head "Research Literacy"

+49 (0)651 201-2930