Online Survey for the Assessment of Generic Health Literacy among Adolescents in Germany (GeKoJu): Study Protocol

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 27;17(5):1518. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17051518.


The promotion of health literacy at a young age can protect, maintain and improve health across the life course. Yet to date, a sound data basis on adolescent health literacy as a requirement for the development of strategies to promote health literacy has not been given. This paper presents a study protocol for the online survey "Health Literacy Among Adolescents" (GeKoJu) that collects the first nation-wide representative data on self-reported generic health among adolescents aged 14-17 years in Germany. The objectives of the survey are (1) to assess the distribution of generic health literacy among adolescents in Germany, (2) to identify socio-demographic and social factors in regard to health literacy and (3) to assess the association of health literacy and health-related outcomes. The cross-sectional survey was conducted from September 2019 through December 2019. A two-stage stratified cluster sampling strategy was applied. Individuals invited to participate in the survey (N = 6608) were randomly selected among German-speaking adolescents aged 14-17 years, with permanent residence in Germany. Generic health literacy is measured with the "Measurement of Health Literacy Among Adolescents-Questionnaire" (MOHLAA-Q). Data collection also covers questions on health behavior, subjective health status, personal and social resources, socio-demographic and social factors and health services use. Results of the GeKoJu survey will provide data for the development of strategies to promote generic health literacy among families, in schools, communities and health care.

Keywords: cross-sectional study; health literacy; measurement; representativeness; youths.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Literacy*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires