Health literacy promotion among young adults: a web-based intervention in German vocational schools

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Against the background of an ageing population, the target group of young adults holds strong societal relevance as the future workforce. At the same time, young adults find themselves in a critical phase of life regarding the manifestation of a healthy lifestyle. In this context, young adults’ health literacy gains importance. Web-based interventions implemented in educational settings offer the potential for promoting health literacy, although longitudinal studies remain scarce. Within a pre–post cluster randomized controlled trial with 6-month follow-up, this study investigated whether an 8-week web-based intervention in vocational schools (with or without an additional initial face-to-face measure) improves individual competencies within a structural model of health literacy (‘self-perception’, ‘proactive approach to health’, ‘dealing with health information’, ‘self-control’, ‘self-regulation’ and ‘communication and cooperation’). The control condition was regular school lessons following the curriculum only. A multi-level regression analysis was performed using the control group as reference. None of the interventions showed a significant improvement in any of the dimensions. Significant differences between the intervention and control were obtained for some dimensions, albeit showing reductions. Future research must examine how to build impactful health literacy promotion in educational settings. Investigations into linking digital and face-to-face measures should continue.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2020