Switzerland's health literacy

Follow-up survey of the Swiss population (2019-2021)

Health literacy is important – for each individual and for all of society. Health literacy is a key requirement for health equality. However, the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU, 2009-2012) and the Swiss population survey of 2015 (HLS-CH) show that the majority of people in Europe and Switzerland have trouble dealing with health information. The surveys also indicate that health literacy among the population follows a social gradient. The HLS-CH was the first important source of data on the health literacy of the population in Switzerland. A follow-up survey on health literacy is required to obtain more in-depth information.

The follow-up survey is part of the international Health Literacy Survey (HLS19), a project initiated by the WHO Action Network on Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL). The aim of the project is to repeat the investigation into health literacy in Switzerland in order to expand and deepen the existing health literacy database. It should allow comparisons to be made between countries participating in the HLS19 and a basis for intervention development to be created.

In its structure and method, this approach is based on the quantitative survey of the first Swiss population survey and the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU). The aim is to conduct another representative survey on the health literacy of the Swiss population, which will focus on expanding the survey to include new relevant topics such as navigation and digital health literacy. As a national study centre, Careum will be conducting data analyses and reporting on the population survey.


Health Literacy

Pestalozzistrasse 3
CH-8032 Zurich