First Health Literacy Project in Austria

Good morning,

Today I want to tell you something about my Health Literacy Project in Austria.

It is the first one for this land (except the multiplier training of the FGZ). I get the chance to show this land why healthy literacy is important and how you can improve your own knowledge.

It is a small project, but it is the first step for me and all of us. If it is successful - I am sure some other cities will also start a campaign like this. So it is on me - to provide good information.


My mission/order or better my aim is:

Providing the basics of HL

Multiplier trainig (EDP teacher)

Teaching older people how they can find high quality information / internet by themselves.

Writing a column (BIG, local paper)

Main topics are: How to find good information on the internet (fast&easy) - rate them and use it / How to speak with your doctor.

Create a quiz (with four options)[ but how useful is a quiz - nobody knows something about HL]


I will reach the people by:

Info-screen - on of the main places of Graz (

Info-screens - tram - (

Providing a fact sheet

Bürger Information Graz (local paper)


For me it is the first time to start a project like this. On my homepage ( I provide for three years helpful information about this topic. But now I have the chance to change something.


But I need some help:

Is there somebody who knows a similar project like this? Can I use innovations form this project?

Are there any recommendations for me?

You can reach me here or via mail (


Thanks for all.

Alexander Riegler


Good luck with your project! One thing that can be helpful at the start is defining who your audience is a little further: adults with low literacy, general public, medical providers, etc. It can be very easy at first to try to cover all of that ground right away, but it will quickly become apparent that each group has very different needs and there is a ton of work to do for each potential audience. The more you define your audience and start with small, but manageable projects (as it sounds like you're doing), the more impact you will make in the long run.

Thank you for your answer.

What is my audience? Yes it will be easier, if I define my audience at the beginning and provide for them the right information. But I have the problem, somebody knows something about health literacy. Is it really important or only a new trend form Amerika?

I want to tell the people, yes it is important for you and me. With some easy basics you can improve your own health. You do not need to buy some pills or go to an expensive expert.

My work is to provide this basics in am easy, informative and interesting way. For this job I have only three or four lines on each screen. Difficult.

How I can I tell the public - read this - it is your benefit/advantage?

Is it better for me to raise the awareness for all or should I start with a special audience? But we have to concern that the information in the tram were read by different audiences. Health professionals, older people and children.

Do you have some other advice or sources for me?


Here are some resources that could be helpful.

You also might want to connect with Jürgen Pelikan []. I believe he’s translating the discussion paper, Ten Attributes of a Health Literate Health Care Organization into German and putting pdfs on web sites of non-profit health care organizations in Europe. 

Dear Cindy,

thanks for your answer. The mentioned blog was very interesting - patient engagement. I will take some of this information and blog them in German (with quotation).

I know Dr. Jürgen Pelikan. About one year ago I wrote him a mail - I got no answer. He is important and well known in our country - I am not ...

Is it possible to provide Health Literacy basics in 2 or 3 sentences? For example patient engagement - how to speak with your doctor - in only 3 lines. I try now to get to get a second page of the screen. So I have more space for my information.

Thanks all for your help.

From Austria,


Hello Alex,

Your request for information about how to advise patients on speaking to their doctor in 2-3 sentences made me think of the Ask Me 3 program:

Program description:

Ask Me 3 is a patient education program designed to improve communication between patients and health care providers, encourage patients to become active members of their health care team, and promote improved health outcomes. The program encourages patients to ask their health care providers three questions:

What is my main problem?

What do I need to do?

Why is it important for me to do this?


Your work is inspiring so please keep sharing.



Jennifer Pearce, MPA

Health Literacy Consultant

Sutter Center for Integrated Care

Cell: (925) 348-0352; Email:



Hello Jennifer, I know the Ask Me 3 program, I already used some information of this project. But thanks for the recommendation. The three questions are really useful - but is it enough to tell the people they should only think about these questions? How should they speak the health expert, prepare some questions (not to much and only the important ones), make some notes. In this case, the problem is, I have to start from the beginning. I believe, the free questions are the start for the part "doctor-patient-relationship". About sharing: in the next 30 or 40 days I want to collect data and some other informative resources. After this, I want to start with writing. A good time to start with the project is October - the Health Literacy Month. Project-milestones: I will continuously write about them. Alex


More than 10 weeks later we have a (final) concept.

We start our pilot-project with a group of ~15 persons. They are all over 60, we call them generation 50+.

At the beginning we found no group for our training because Health Literacy activities are unknown.


I will teach them in the

1. module: what means health literacy and why it is important for you and me. Some examples and discussion

2. module: how to speak with your doctor? - Ask the right questions (with roleplaying).

              If they are interested - what can the doctor see in your blood.

              How can I find reliable health information. Quality criteria ...

3. module: health myth, what means risk, prevention, health promotion,... some basics (words you can find in the newspaper)

4. module: for this module I hope I can get an nutrion expert

5. module: tipps and tricks for everybody (good topic but what I shoud tell them, I will find an answer)

              repeating and discussion

              certificate (4 of 5 modules, reach some small goals)


What do you think? Is this a good health literacy project? We have no experience with health literacy training.

Greetings form Graz (home of Schwarzenegger)



how can I find Maureen?

Interesting paper: - Health Literacy Manual for Older Adults. Very good.