Differences in Health Information Literacy Competencies Among Older Adults, Elderly and Younger Citizens

Isto Huvila, Noora Hirvonen, Heidi Enwald, Rose-Mharie Åhlfeldt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


To address the research gap on age-based differences in health information literacy (HIL), we investigated how younger (born 1960-) and older adults (1946-1960), and elderly citizens (-1945) differed from each other by their HIL competencies. Data were collected with an online survey of patients using the Swedish national electronic health record system. Altogether, 2,587 users responded. One-way ANOVA with post hoc tests revealed several differences between the groups: younger adults were less likely to value health information than older adults; older adults and elderly were least likely to compare information from multiple sources and had trouble in determining health information needs; older adults were most likely to have trouble understanding health terminology and the elderly to have difficulties in understanding medicinal package labels. The study shows that HIL is not necessarily improving or declining but adapting to challenges of advanced age.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationInformation Literacy in Everyday Life. ECIL 2018. Communications in Computer and Information Science
EditorsS Kurbanoglu, S Špiranec, Y Ünal, J Boustany, ML Huotari, E Grassian, D Mizrachi, L Roy
PublisherSpringer VS
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-13472-3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventECIL: European Conference on Information Literacy - ECIL: European Conference on Information Literacy
Duration: 1 Jan 2019 → …


ConferenceECIL: European Conference on Information Literacy
Period01/01/19 → …

Cite this