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Irish leg of health literacy survey to be conducted

The Department of Health has tendered for a provider to conduct a health literacy survey.

Member countries of the World Health Organisation (WHO) action network on measuring population and organisational health literacy (M-POHL) are jointly conducting the health literacy survey (HLS19).

The HLS19 is a population-based, cross-sectional study measuring health literacy and its determinants and health-related consequences in selected European countries, including Ireland, based on population representative samples.

The overall objective of the HLS19 is to collect comparative data on population health literacy in the three main domains (healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion) and with regard to the four main abilities (to access, understand, judge and apply health information) and relevant correlates of health literacy.

The HLS19 survey will cover the following areas: Demographic, economic, and social characteristics; lifestyle behaviours (including smoking, diet, exercise, height and weight); physical and mental health; health literacy; healthcare utilisation; digital health literacy; communication in healthcare settings; and vaccination hesitancy.

The HLS19 questionnaire has been developed by the M-POHL Network and will be provided to the successful tenderer by the Department. The document consists of a core questionnaire involving the 47-item HLS-EU-Q health literacy instrument; an additional 31 items on correlates of health literacy; four thematic modules; and additional questions/relevant questions for Ireland on healthcare coverage and chronic disease.

“The successful tenderer will be required to develop the questionnaire into a computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) and perform a field test,” according to tender documents.

The survey commissioning in Ireland will be overseen by the research services and policy unit in the Department.

“This will support the Department of Health to ensure that a policy-informed and population health perspective is taken in the strategic development, management, priority-setting, and communication surrounding the survey,” according to tender documents.

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