University of Oulu

Lena Griebel, Heidi Enwald, Heidi Gilstad, Anna-Lena Pohl, Julia Moreland & Martin Sedlmayr (2018) eHealth literacy research—Quo vadis?, Informatics for Health and Social Care, 43:4, 427-442, DOI: 10.1080/17538157.2017.1364247

eHealth literacy research : quo vadis?

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Author: Griebel, Lena1; Enwald, Heidi2,3; Gilstad, Heidi4;
Organizations: 1Chair of Medical Informatics, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
2Information Studies, University of Oulu, Finland
3Information Studies, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
4Health Informatics Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, NTNU The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
5Institute for eHealth and Management in HealthCare, Flensburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
6Social Sciences, University of the Highlands and Islands, Moray College UHI, Scotland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-10-17


The concept of electronic health (eHealth) literacy evolved from the social and information sciences and describes competencies necessary to use electronic health services. As it is a rather new topic, and as there is no current overview of the state of the art in research, it is not possible to identify research gaps. Therefore, the objective of this viewpoint article is to increase knowledge on the current state of the art of research in eHealth literacy and to identify gaps in scientific research which should be focused on by the research community in the future. The article provides a current viewpoint of the concept of eHealth literacy and related research. Gaps can be found in terms of a missing “gold standard” regarding both the definition and the measurement of eHealth literacy. Furthermore, there is a need for identifying the implications on eHealth developers, which evolve from the measurement of eHealth literacy in eHealth users. Finally, a stronger inclusion of health professionals, both in the evolving concept and in the measurement of eHealth literacy, is needed in the future.

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Series: Informatics for health and social care
ISSN: 1753-8157
ISSN-E: 1753-8165
ISSN-L: 1753-8157
Volume: 43
Issue: 4
Pages: 427 - 442
DOI: 10.1080/17538157.2017.1364247
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 518 Media and communications
314 Health sciences
616 Other humanities
520 Other social sciences
Funding: We acknowledge support by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) within the funding programme Open Access Publishing.
Copyright information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Informatics for Health and Social Care on 17 Oct 2017, available online: