Researching digital health literacy in COVID-19 times
Health literacy in times of coronavirus and COVID-19
Reflecting on University Students
Given the recent pandemic of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, various health information is available on the Internet considering issues such as diagnosis, treatment, protective behaviour, preventive measures, dashboard statistics and recommendations. Reliable and trustworthy health information is key in this situation for citizens to act upon and slow down the spread of COVID-19. This increased both citizen need for information and the challenges they face in relation to find the information relevant to them, to critically reflect about them and to transfer them to their everyday life. Similarly, information providers are asked to provide easy-to-understand and practical information and prepare and disseminate it in an appropriate, i.e. easily understandable and accessible form. This also applies for the group of university students, who make up a significant proportion of young adults worldwide.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), about 22% of 21 to 26-year-olds from OECD countries are enrolled in a bachelor's programme and another 6% in a master's programme (OECD, 2019). University students face a period of transition when entering university and academic life that are characterized by many new facets, challenging circumstances and new experiences they have to master while most leave their parents´ and family homes to start their university education and studies. Following socialization processes demand them to develop autonomy and competencies to live an independent life. Health, health behaviour and (digital) health literacy in this period of life depend even more on students´ individual decisions and living circumstances rather than on parent or adult guidance and help. Moreover, graduates are often employed in management positions and in this role they are responsible not only for themselves but also for others. Health and (digital) health literacy is a central resource in this context.
In response to the many uncertainties and the ever-changing circumstances in society created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the COVID-HL Consortium is conducting a survey on health literacy in relation to COVID-19 among university students.
Worldwide, more than 90 researchers are involved in the COVID-HL-Consortium and its survey among university Students
Worldwide, more than 40 countries are involved in the COVID-HL-Consortium and its survey among university students
So far more than 61.000 university students completed the COVID-HL-Survey: University Students