COVID-19 International Health Literacy Survey Phone image

What is this about?

We are asking for your support for Ireland’s component of the International COVID-19 survey of third level students on Digital Health Literacy and Health (COVID-19-HL Survey). This is part of an international study in 39 countries across five continents (

At present, little is known about how students source and interpret health-related information, especially in a crisis situation that has a social, economic, and political impact on everyday life. The survey will explore how students are responding to the novel information challenges, health behaviour, and uncertainty linked to this pandemic. It will assess the digital information needs of third level students during the COVID-19 pandemic, identify what sources students consult when seeking COVID-19 information, and the impact that their information use is having on their current health and well-being.

Why is this important?

The information being collected is extremely important given the current reliance on digital and online communication. Participation in the COVID-19-HL Survey will facilitate research, policy, and practice to promote healthy protective behaviour and adherence with COVID-19 guidance.

How will it work?

We are asking colleges to send out an invitation email to all students on our behalf, containing the link to a 10-minute online survey. This will promote student awareness of the survey so they can choose to opt in to complete it, and support a consistent approach across all campuses. The online survey uses standardised measures to assess health literacy, online information seeking profiles, the topics students search for and where, the attitudes they have towards their current situation, their health and well-being, worries, and future perspectives.

Who are we?

The Irish survey is led by Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, Professor of Health Promotion at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and is being conducted in collaboration with colleagues in the Health Promotion Research Centre, Department of Psychology and Student Services in NUI Galway. Our research team is inviting all Higher Education Institutes in the Republic of Ireland to take part.

What about ethics?

The study has full research  ethics  approval  from  the  NUI  Galway  research  ethics  committee. Participants will be given information about the study and types of questions involved and will need to indicate their consent to participate. No identifying information will be collected so answers cannot be traced back to individuals. All survey responses will be retained confidentially and anonymously in compliance with GDPR regulations.

Taking part

Completing the survey takes about 10 minutes. If you want to take part, please follow this link:

A PDF version of this information is available to download here