ECRA Member Koren Rodriguez

“In Germany, studies show that general health literacy levels appear to be low among migrants, however, there is little differentiated information on digital health literacy in this group so far.”

Global migration rates are at an all-time high with millions of migrants having been forcefully displaced. Migration is complex with many layers that need to be navigated for those during transit and upon arrival in host countries, including healthcare. Further research is needed to understand what influences digital health capabilities among migrant populations.

My research goal is to explore digital health literacy needs among migrant populations living in Germany who have migrated from Afghanistan, Northern Africa, and Syria; and if those needs are disproportionately affected by socio-demographic factors, the environment in which people are exposed, or the level of trust in health information sources. My research also aims to explore implementation surveillance and the effect on digital health interventions.

Research Design

Phase I
A scoping review will be conducted with an inclusion criteria of relevant literature in digital health literacy, development of digital literacy in different environments, and trust in health information sources of migrant populations aged 18-65, with a focus on, but not limited to the German situation. In parallel, a needs assessment will be given to focus groups participants to gain better understanding of subjective digital health literacy needs in this group.

Phase II
After collecting data through the scoping review and focus groups, an evidence-based 
participatory intervention will be created to increase digital health literacy among migrant 
populations living in Germany. The proposed intervention will be an app or an e-learning program that aims to increase digital health literacy and decrease the digital divide. Upon completion of the intervention, a feasibility trial will be conducted to see whether and for whom the intervention works. Through implementation surveillance, we can identify implementation errors, allowing for the necessary corrections so interventions are used as intended.

Koren Rodriguez-Linares, MPH

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