Universiteit Maastricht

CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care

Health Literacy (HLS-EU)

The European Health Literacy

The European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU)

The European Health Literacy Project (HLS-EU) has successfully been completed in the period 2009-2012. It was hosted Maastricht University and aimed to help establish the issue of health literacy in Europe.


The HLS-EU project has fulfilled its obligations in terms of:

  • establishing a European Health Literacy Network;
  • developing a model instrument for measuring health literacy in populations in Europe;
  • generating first-time data on health literacy in European countries, providing indicators for national and EU monitoring;
  • making a comparative assessment of health literacy in European countries;
  • creating National Advisory Bodies in countries participating in the survey and documenting different valorization strategies following national structures and priorities.


The HLS-EU project was carried out in cooperation with partners in nine European countries:


  • Maastricht University, the Netherlands
  • National School of Public Health, Greece
  • University College of Dublin, National University of Ireland
  • Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft GmbH, Austria
  • Instytut Kardiologii, Poland
  • University of Murcia, Spain
  • Medical University - Sofia, Bulgaria
  • National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands
  • National Centre of Health, Nord-Rhine West-Phalia, Germany

Furthermore have several organisations and institutes supported the project as collaborating partners:


  • Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Health Literacy Missouri
  • ECDC, Stockholm, Sweden
  • MSD Europe; MSD Ireland and Switzerland
  • Public Health Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • National School of Public Health, Lisboa, Portugal
  • Center for Health Policies and Services, Bucharest, Bulgaria
  • European Patient's Forum, Brussels, Belgium
  • Instituto di Ricerche Farmacologieche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy
  • University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsoe, Norway
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Ministry of Health and Children, Dublin, Ireland
  • National Consumers Council, United Kingdom 
  • Institute of Public Health in Cracow, Poland

The HLS-EU project received funding from the European Union from the framework of the Public Health Programme (Grant 2007-113).

The executive summary of the final report to the European Commission is available here: Final_report_-_Executive_summary_of_HLS-EU.pdf

More information

Project coordinator Kristine Sorensen
Department of International Health
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
Maastricht University
Email: k.sorensen@maastrichtuniversity.nl

back to 'Health Literacy' >>