HLS19 Project

The Health Literacy Population Survey Project 2019-2021 (HLS19) is M-POHL’s first project aiming to collect comparative data on population health literacy in as many member states of the WHO-European region as possible. Building on the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU, 2009-2012), M-POHL partners have further developed and piloted a methodology to assess personal health literacy in general populations. A joint study protocol is used to ensure comparability and reliability for the cross-national analysis and benchmarking between participating partner countries. Data is analysed on the European level for an internationally comparative report and by national teams for more specific country reports. These reports and the subsequent publications are intended to support evidence-based policy for improving health literacy, especially in participating HLS19 member states and WHO-Europe region. Furthermore, the HLS19 Project shall pave the grounds towards regular European health literacy surveys.

Main activities of the HLS19 Project

The main research- and development-related activities of the HLS19 Project are to

  • develop a HLS19 study protocol and a survey instrument for the scientific study of population health literacy at national and international levels,
  • initiate and accomplish a cross-national comparative survey among the HLS19 project partner countries,
  • establish and update a HLS19 database,
  • provide comparative results across the HLS19 project partner countries,
  • publish and disseminate the findings in reports, scientific peer-reviewed journals, books, factsheets, policy briefing papers and through the M-POHL public website,
  • define and manage a set of rules for access to and use of the HLS19 database by all HLS19 project partners, M-POHL members with observer status and external researchers who intend to conduct and publish second-order analyses.

The International Coordination Centre (ICC) of the HLS19 Project

The International Coordination Centre (ICC) of the HLS19 Project is situated within the WHO-CC for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care at the department of Health and Society of the Austrian Public Health Institute (Gesundheit Österreich GmbH).

Core team of the International Coordination Centre (ICC) and their roles/responsibilities: 

Jürgen M. Pelikan - Principal International Investigator
Christa Straßmayr - Project Coordination and Research
Thomas Link – Statistics and Research
Peter Nowak – Finance and Contracting