Our society is becoming more and more diverse: Nearly one in four German citizens currently has a migrant background. Up to now, studies have shown that people with histories of migration find dealing with information relevant to their health especially difficult. The term “health literacy” describes how easily or well people are able to access, understand, evaluate, and apply health-related information, whether it is in the areas of treatment and therapy, prevention, or the promotion of good health.
A lack of good health literacy can prevent people from making optimum use of the health care system and ultimately lead to incorrect, insufficient, or excessive treatment. The extent to which people engage in behavior that is hazardous to their health is also dependent upon their individual degrees of health literacy. Until now, however, the amount of available data on the possible causes and consequences of insufficient health literacy among German residents with migrant backgrounds has been lacking.
The aim of the project at the Faculty of Health Sciences at Bielefeld University is to gather in-depth information on health literacy among people with migrant backgrounds and create a basis for developing specific interventions directed at this target group.