A list of frequently used terms and their definitions, together with the explanation of the meanings of abbreviations that primarily pertain to the measurement of digital health literacy and health literacy, collaboratively developed by the IDEAHL project partners.


Concept Definition
Global Atlas of literacies for health GALH It is a systematic collection of data and information that provides a visual and spatial representation of various features and aspects of a geographical area. The GALH is a tool that not only summarises the various literacy tools but presents the empirical evidence for how it has been used or evaluated in different geographical regions.
Health Literacy (HL) HL entails people’s knowledge and competences to access, understand, appraise, and apply health information to make judgments and decisions in everyday life concerning healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion (1).
Digital HL (dHL) dHL is the ability to seek, find, understand, and appraise health information from electronic sources and apply the knowledge gained to addressing or solving a health problem (2).
(d)HL HL and dHL
Literacies for Health Literacies for Health in this Atlas refer to different types of HL such as nutritional HL, mental HL, oral HL, Physical Fitness Literacy, Medication Literacy, Environmental Health Literacy, Public Health Literacy, Reproductive Health Literacy, Genetic Literacy, Health Insurance Literacy, Occupational Health Literacy, Chronic Disease Management Literacy, among others. The literacies for health involve: Motivation, knowledge, and competencies to comprehend, evaluate, and apply information about health, thereby enabling the ability to make decisions in relation to personal care and disease prevention (Hernández Encuentra, 2021)
HL and/or digital HL levels HL and digital HL levels refer to the level of HL of individuals or groups as measured by scales (measurement tools) developed for the purpose.
European Union Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
Beyond EU Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales), United States of America.
Health Care/Health-care/Healthcare Health care/Health-care/Healthcare exist in health system, that consists of all organisations, people, and actions whose primary intent is to promote, restore or maintain health. This includes efforts to influence determinants of health as well as more direct health-improving activities. A health system is therefore more than the pyramid of publicly owned facilities that deliver personal health services. It includes, for example, a mother caring for a sick child at home; private providers; behaviour change programmes; vector-control campaigns; health insurance organisations; occupational health and safety legislation. It includes cross-sectoral action by health staff, for example, encouraging the ministry of education to promote female education, a well-known determinant of better health (3).
Health Data Health data is any data "related to health conditions, reproductive outcomes, causes of death, and quality of life"(4) for an individual or population. Health data includes clinical metrics along with environmental, socioeconomic, and behavioural information pertinent to health and wellness. A plurality of health data is collected and used when individuals interact with health care systems. This data, collected by health care providers, typically includes a record of services received, conditions of those services, and clinical outcomes or information concerning those services (5).
GALH Dataset The GALH dataset is a collection of data related to levels, interventions, initiatives, practices and policy of (d)HL in Europe and beyond. The individual data points included are related to a specific (d)HL analysis of four different literature reviews. A dataset can contain various types of data, the GALH dataset contains numerical values and text that were extracted from the IDEAHL project literature reviews.
Social Innovation Social innovation refers to the design and implementation of new solutions that imply conceptual, process, product, or organisational change, which ultimately aim to improve the welfare and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Many initiatives undertaken by the social economy and by the civil society have proven to be innovative in dealing with socio-economic and environmental problems, while contributing to economic development. To fully tap the potential of social innovation, an enabling policy framework is needed to support public, non-profit, and private actors to co-construct and implement socially innovative solutions and thereby contribute to address socio-economic issues, build stronger territorial resilience, and better respond to future shocks (6).
Social Services Social service is a service that aims at promoting citizen’s / client's social wellbeing and ability to function and prevents, reduces, and eliminates social problems (7).
Best practice A best practice is a relevant policy or intervention implemented in a real-life setting and which has been favourably assessed in terms of adequacy (ethics and evidence) and equity as well as effectiveness and efficiency related to process and outcomes. Other criteria are important for a successful transferability of the practice such as a clear definition of the context, sustainability, cross-sectional, and participation of stakeholders (8).
Champions and survivors Champions = Professionals, services, organisations, municipalities, regions, etc. that published a peer reviewed article in a scientific journal providing evidence of success with initiatives (best practices) in relation to (d)HL ie: the initiatives showed improvement of levels of HL with pre test and post test measurement
Survivors = Professionals, services, organisations, municipalities, regions, etc. that were less successful with initiatives (best practices) in relation to (d)HL.
Initiative In the context of (d)HL, an initiative refers to a specific program, project, or action undertaken with the aim of promoting or advancing health literacy. It involves a deliberate effort to improve individuals' knowledge, skills, and abilities to obtain, understand, and use health information and services effectively. (d) HL initiatives can take various forms, such as educational campaigns, community-based interventions, policy development, healthcare provider training, websites, apps, or the creation of health communication materials tailored to different populations. These initiatives often aim to address health disparities, empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health, and enhance their overall health outcomes. An initiative may or may not be published in scientific peer reviewed papers and could be led by public or private entities or individuals.
Monitoring and evaluation tools, scales, measures, methods, and frameworks Monitoring and evaluation tools, methods, and frameworks in (d)HL that are validated and published in peer-reviewed journals; they measure/quantify individuals’ (d)HL (9) and organisations’ HL and (d)HL environments covering different target populations and services (e.g., the HLS-EU questionnaire, the eHL Assessment toolkit (eHLA) and the eHL Questionnaire (eHLQ), the M-POHL network action or the WHO HL Road Map).
Private and public initiatives and services Private and public initiatives and services related to (d)HL regarding testing/assessing, monitoring, training, capability building, education, consulting, development, communication, intervention, care, support, peer support, or community action. A public intervention is one that is initiated, funded, or overseen by a government or public sector entity. It is typically aimed at addressing public needs or societal issues and is funded through public resources.: A private intervention is initiated, funded, or operated by private entities, such as industry, non-profit organisations, or individual practitioners


HL Health Literacy
dHL Digital HL
(d)HL HL and dHL
GALH Global Atlas of Literacies for Health
Ar-eHEALS Arabic version of electronical HL scale
3-brief SQ Three brief screening questions
BHLS Three-item Brief HL Screen
BRIEF Brief HL Screening Tool
CHAT Conversational HL Assessment Tool
C & CHL scale/CCHL Communicative and Critical HL scale 
CHLT-30 Cancer HL Test
DHLI Digital HL Instrument
DNT-15 Diabetes Numeracy Test 15
eHL Electronical HL
eHEALS-carer eHL Scale for Carers
eHEALS Electronic HL scale
EHILS Everyday Health Information Screening Tool
eHLA eHL assessment toolkit
eHLQ eHL Questionnaire
EMHL Mental HL test for Spanish Adolescents
FCCHL Functional, Communicative, and Critical HL questionnaire
G-HL General HL scale   
GROHL Greek Oral HL measurement instrument 
HALS Health Activities Literacy Scale of NALS
HAS-A HL Assessment Scale for Adolescents
HBP-HLS High Blood Pressure-HL Scale
HELIA HL Instrument for Adults
HK-LS Hypertension Knowledge-Level Scale
HL-HC HL items from the dimension of health care
HLQ HL Questionnaire
HLQ-SK HL Questionnaire Slovakia
HLS19 -Q12 General HL adapted short form
HLS19-DIGI General HL module for digital health literacy
HLS19-VAC General HL module for vaccination health literacy
HLSAC HL for School-aged Children
HLS-EU (Q6/Q16/Q25/Q47/Q86) European HL Survey Questionnaire (nr. of questions in the questionnaires)
ILS-PT HL Survey – Portugal
IMETER   Italian Medical Term Recognition Test
MAKS Mental Health Knowledge Schedule 
MeHLA Danish Mental HL Adolescents questionnaire
METER Medical Term Recognition Test
MHFA Mental Health First Aid
MHKQ Mental Health Knowledge Questionnaire
MHLq Mental HL Questionnaire
MHLS Mental HL Scale
MHLW Mental HL tool for the Workplace
MHPK-10 Mental Health-Promoting Knowledge
MMHLM Multicomponent mental HL measure
MOHLAA-Q Measurement of HL Among Adolescents Questionnaire
NVS Newest Vital Sign
NVS-PTeen Newest Vital Sign for Portuguese Adolescents 
OHLP Oral HL Profile
QUICK-K An Instrument for Measuring HL in Children
RALPH Recognizing and Addressing Limited Pharmaceutical literacy
REALM Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine
REALM-R Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine Revised
REALD-30 Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry
SAHL-D Short Assessment of HL for Dutch Patients
SAHLPA Short Assessment of HL in Portugal
SAHL-PT Short Assessment of HL for Portuguese population
SAHLSA-50 Short Assessment of HL for Spanish-Speaking Adults
SBSQ  Set of Brief Screening Questions
S-CCHL Swedish Communicative and Critical HL Scale
S-FHL Scale for Functional HL
SILS Single Item Screener
S-TOFHLA Abbreviated version of the Test of Functional HL in Adults
TOFHLA Test of Functional HL in Adults
V-HLO Vienna health literate organisation self-assessment tool
MDU Mälardalen University
SeAMK Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
UCN University College of Northern Denmark
RMIT University RMIT University
RMIT University, Europe RMIT Europe
CSPA Consejería de Salud y Servicios Sanitarios - Principado de Asturias
CE Consulta Europa
ISRAA Istituto per Servizi di Ricovero e Assistenza agli Anziani
MLHSA Behoerde Fuer Arbeit, Gesundheit, Soziales, Familie Und Integration Hamburg
ADIPER Adi & Salu Sersoc S.L.U.
CDC Cáritas Diocesana de Coimbra
EIWH European Institute of Women's Health Company Limited By Guarantee
CEI Ince Iniziativa Centro Europea - Segretariato Esecutivo
E-seniors E-Seniors: Initiation des Seniors aux NTICc Association
All Digital All Digital Aisbl
General acronyms
BMI Body Mass Index
EHL Environmental HL
EU European Union
FHL   Functional HL
mHL Mental HL
OHL Organisational HL
oHL Oral HL
PTHL Pharmacotherapy Literacy
WHO World Health Organization
Yr. Years(s)
OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
MHFA Mental Health First Aid
USA United States of America
UK United Kingdom
RCT Randomized controlled trial
Chi2 Chi-Square
DF Degrees of freedom
CFI Comparative fit index
TLI Tucker-Lewis Index
RMSEA The root mean square error of approximation
WLSMV Weighted least square mean and variance adjusted
SD Standard Deviation


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8. The finnish institute for Health and Welfare (2022)

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