The COVID-HL Survey: University Students

The goals of the COVID-HL Survey

The COVID-HL Survey: University Students

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 (digital) health literacy in relation to COVID-19 among university students globally.

Not much is known about university student`s health literacy especially in relation to crisis situations that affect whole of societal life including social, economic and political impact on their everyday practices. Therefore, we want to shed light on how students face the challenges of this pandemic and how they cope with the fact that their lives are being turned upside down for the better or the worse. We are in particular interested in learning about their health literacy levels, their online information seeking profiles, the topics they search for and where, what attitudes they have towards their current situation living in this age of pandemic, their worries and future time perspectives as well as health and wellbeing status.

These issues are of particular importance as in relation to 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 information and knowledge provided by governments, health authorities and scientist and thereby to help slowing down the spread of COVID-19. In turn, this makes healthy citizen behaviour a critical asset to ease down the pressure and burden that is being put upon the health care sector in their fight against the virus, the treatment of COVID-19 patients and the search for a vaccine. Citizen behaviour, however, has to be facilitated by adequate government action and policies not only by providing health information but health, social and economic services for citizens to cope with the situation.

The main goals of the COVID-HL-Survey are therefore to:

  • Assess digital health literacy of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Explore the different digital sources of information students consult when seeking for COVID-19 information and identify their preferred choices
  • Capture students future time perspective/worries and there relation with student`s digital health literacy, information seeking behaviour and health situation
  • Asess students Sense of Coherence and its association with student`s digital health literacy, information seeking behaviour and health situation

The benefit of the COVID-HL-Survey is to enable research, policy and practice to develop policies and programmes to foster healthy and protective behaviour, preventive measures and adherence with the COVID-19 policies. Digital health literacy will empower university students and all other population groups to take greater control in the prevention of COVID-19 and its spread, and are likely to lead to better health outcomes.

Who conducts this survey?

Starting in Germany in March 2020 the COVID-HL -Survey is currently being conducted by all partners involved in COVID-HL-Survey. Each participating country have named Principal Investigators who are responsible for their own survey. All partners are currently at different stages of the implementation. An overview of all participating countries can be found here.

How is this survey conducted?

The survey is implemented as an online survey. Different online tools are used in the participating countries. The greatest attention is paid to data protection and data security. All tools and web servers used are subject to high data protection and security requirements. All data are transmitted via an encrypted connection using the secure encryption protocol „https“.

How long does it take to fill out the questionnaire?

It will take about 10 minutes of your time to answer the questionnaire.

Do I have to participate the survey?

No! Participation in the online study is, of course, voluntary and anonymous, i.e. the data cannot be assigned to the respondents. Even if you do not participate, this does not have any disadvantages for you. Before you start answering the questionnaire, you will receive essential information. Only when you have given your consent to participate, you will be taken to the online questionnaire.

What happens with the data?

The applicable data protection regulations are met at all times. The collection of personal data is kept to a minimum and your anonymity is guaranteed at all times. The data is accordingly encrypted and stored securely and only processed by skilled researchers of the study team.