The use of multidimensional scales for the evaluation of computing students' digital health literacy
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Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Sofia University, Bulgaria
365 Company LTD
Medical University, Sofia, Bulgaria
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A722
Background: The importance of digital health literacy (DHL) for people to better manage their health and well-being is undeniable and last confirmed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study aims to analyze the relations between the health literacy (HL) scales and the levels of digital competencies. Both are required for competent DHL. Methods: A web-based questionnaire based on the COVID-19 HL Survey was distributed among students at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (FMI) at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, with the approval of its ethics committee. Data was evaluated using cross-referencing of a digital competence framework - DigComp 2.2 and a health literacy framework - Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ). Qualitative and quantitative analyses were provided. Results: The answers of 221 students (13 % of 1690 asked) were received. All participated voluntarily and anonymously. Searching and filtering information are reported as the easiest tasks: easy (40 % and 31%) and very easy (52 % and 39%). Evaluation of information, based on criteria of how much information is verified, up to date, and coming from official sources is posed as very important (79%, 78%, and 69%). These results correspond to the Advanced proficiency levels of “Browsing, searching and filtering data, information and digital content“, and “Evaluating data, information and digital content” DigCOMP 2.2 competence areas and upper level of HLQ areas „Ability to find good health information“ and „Appraisal of health information“. Conclusions: DHL is a cross-disciplinary effort. Its evaluation requires using advanced multidimensional tools. A combination of DigCOMP 2.2 and HLQ was applied for the evaluation of computing students’ DHL. The study reveals the presence of high levels of digital skills is essential for the acquisition and use of valuable health information, which is a prerequisite for well-being. Fostering digital skills should be an integral part of complex HL education.