Everyday Health Information Literacy of Young Finnish and Namibian Students: Is There a Difference?

  • Maija-Leena HuotariEmail author
  • Heidi Enwald
  • Noora Hirvonen
  • Cathrine Nengomasha
  • Ruth Abankwah
  • Wilhelm Uutoni
  • Raimo Niemelä
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 676)


The everyday health information literacy (EHIL) of students with different cultural backgrounds is compared. The data were collected with a self-assessment based EHIL screening tool from Namibian university students (n = 271) and Finnish upper secondary school students (n = 217). The tool corresponds to the definition of health information literacy (HIL) by the Medical Library Association. The groups were compared with cross-tabulations with Fisher’s exact tests and the group means of an EHIL sum variable with Student’s t-test. The results show that the mean scores of the EHIL sum variable do not differ between the groups. Yet, significant differences are found with regard to each of the tool’s statements. Mostly these relate to health information infrastructure, lingual issues, and reading culture. The study contributes to research on cultural differences on HIL and to validating the EHIL screening tool.


Health information literacy Screening tool Students Cultural differences Survey 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maija-Leena Huotari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Heidi Enwald
    • 1
  • Noora Hirvonen
    • 1
  • Cathrine Nengomasha
    • 2
  • Ruth Abankwah
    • 2
  • Wilhelm Uutoni
    • 2
  • Raimo Niemelä
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Information and Communication Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Medical Research Centre OuluUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of Information and Communication Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of NamibiaWindhoekNamibia
  3. 3.The City of Oulu Department of EducationKastelli Upper Secondary SchoolOuluFinland

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