Health literacy and vaccination among the Swiss population
The project is in its main part a representative survey, applied online, among residents of Switzerland, aged 18 and older, from all parts of the country. The sample is drawn from a larger online sample kept by an independent survey institute, Polyquest, Bern. A total of 1713 persons were interviewed in early 2018. The questionnaire was developed in close collaboration of ICH/USI with the Federal Office of Health. The assignment was to study the background of a surprise finding three years earlier. A comparative study of health literacy among Swiss residents in 2015 had surprisingly shown that the insecurity in making the right decision on vaccination was high in the country, especially as compared with other countries. The earlier study used HLS-EU, an instrument consisting of 47 statements, with respondents being asked how difficult they found certain tasks and activities in the area of health. Four of the statements related to vaccination, and three of them showed that Swiss residents perceived more difficulties than almost all other European countries studied. This made the Federal Office of Health publicly advertise an in-depth study to learn more about how Swiss residents make decisions on vaccination, where they see difficulties, and why. The survey in consequence covers a wide array of questions on vaccination decision-making, information seeking, the role of the media, social influences and various aspects of attitudes. A qualitative interview study with some 45 respondents completes the approach.