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      The Concept of eHealth Literacy and Its Measurement : German Translation of the eHEALS

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          Abstract

          The objective of this study was to translate the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) into German, to evaluate this translation through psychometric testing in a German sample of adolescents, and to analyze whether the content-derived hypothesis of two eHEALS subscales was confirmed by the data. We hypothesized that the first subscale would cover self-perceived competence in seeking health information online, and the second subscale information appraisal of health information on the Internet. A cross-sectional survey among 18-year-old students ( N = 327) using our translation of the eHEALS was conducted. A confirmatory factor analysis compared the 1-factor model based on Norman and Skinners’ analyses with the a priori specified 2-factor model. The results indicated a better fit for the 2-factor model (chi-square difference of 150.93, p < .0001), supporting the division into subscales.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments.

          People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities.
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            eHealth Trends in Europe 2005-2007: A Population-Based Survey

            Background In the last decade, the number of Internet users worldwide has dramatically increased. People are using the Internet for various health-related purposes. It is important to monitor such use as it may have an impact on the individual’s health and behavior, patient-practitioner roles, and on general health care provision. Objectives This study investigates trends and patterns of European health-related Internet use over a period of 18 months. The main study objective was to estimate the change in the proportion of the population using the Internet for health purposes, and the importance of the Internet as a source of health information compared to more traditional sources. Methods The survey data were collected through computer-assisted telephone interviews. A representative sample (N = 14,956) from seven European countries has been used: Denmark, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Norway, Poland, and Portugal. The European eHealth Consumer Trends Survey was first conducted in October-November 2005 and repeated in April-May 2007. In addition to providing background information, respondents were asked to rate the importance of various sources of health information. They were also queried as to the frequency of different online activities related to health and illness and the effects of such use on their disposition. Results The percentage of the population that has used the Internet for health purposes increased from an estimated 42.3% (95% CI [Confidence Interval] 41.3 - 43.3) in 2005 to an estimated 52.2% (95% CI 51.3 - 53.2) in 2007. Significant growth in the use of the Internet for health purposes was found in all the seven countries. Young women are the most active Internet health users. The importance of the Internet as a source of health information has increased. In 2007, the Internet was perceived as an important source of health information by an estimated 46.8% (95% CI 45.7 - 47.9) of the population, a significant increase of 6.5 % (95% CI 4.9 - 8.1) from 2005. The importance of all the traditional health information channels has either decreased or remained the same. An estimated 22.7% (95% CI 21.7 - 23.6) are using it for more interactive services than just reading health information. Conclusion The Internet is increasingly being used as a source of health information by the European population, and its perceived importance is rising. Use of the Internet for health purposes is growing in all age groups and for both men and women, with especially strong growth among young women. We see that experienced Internet health users are also using the Internet as an active communication channel, both for reaching health professionals and for communicating with peers.
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              eHealth Literacy 2.0: Problems and Opportunities With an Evolving Concept

              As the use of eHealth grows and diversifies globally, the concept of eHealth literacy – a foundational skill set that underpins the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health – becomes more important than ever to understand and advance. EHealth literacy draws our collective attention to the knowledge and complex skill set that is often taken for granted when people interact with technology to address information, focusing our attention on learning and usability issues from the clinical through to population health level. Just as the field of eHealth is dynamic and evolving, so too is the context where eHealth literacy is applied and understood. The original Lily Model of eHealth literacy and scale used to assess it were developed at a time when the first generation of web tools gained prominence before the rise of social media. The rapid shifts in the informational landscape created by Web 2.0 tools and environments suggests it might be time to revisit the concept of eHealth Literacy and consider what a second release might look like.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                zmp
                Journal of Media Psychology
                Theories, Methods, and Applications
                Hogrefe Publishing
                1864-1105
                2151-2388
                March 2014
                2014
                : 26
                : 1
                : 29-38
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] Department of Psychology, University of Hildesheim, Hildesheim, Germany
                Author notes
                Renate Soellner, Department of Psychology, University of Hildesheim, Marienburger Platz 22, 31141 Hildesheim +49 5121 883-10916 +49 5121 883-10901 soellner@ 123456uni-hildesheim.de
                Article
                zmp_26_1_29
                10.1027/1864-1105/a000104
                Product
                Self URI (journal-page): https://econtent.hogrefe.com/loi/zmp
                Categories
                Original Article

                Psychology, Communication & Media studies

                eHEALS, Internet, competence measurement, eHealth literacy

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