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  • Writer's pictureJuliane Stiller

"That's what I read in a study" - Presentation at the annual conference of the Forum Privatheit

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

The motto of this year's annual conference of the Forum Privatheit was "Data Fairness in a Globalised World - Fundamental Rights Protection and Competition for International Data Governance". The meeting, which was held from 13 to 14 October, took place in the beautiful premises of the Humboldt-Carré in Berlin. People who were unable to personally attend the event had the opportunity to follow the presentations and panel discussions online from home.

Grenzenlos Digital e. V. was also present at the Forum Privatheit this year and presented the DESIVE² project, which is being carried out together with the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

Speakers and slides as well as parts of the audience at the Forum Privatheit 2022
Dr. Violeta Trkulja and Dr. Juliane Stiller giving their presentation. Photo: ©Forum Privatheit/Luca Abbiento

The presentation first dealt with health information behaviour and referred to the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) Germany 2020. This shows that people mainly seek information from doctors and health professionals, but the internet is also a significant source. When searching for information on health topics online, digital health information literacy plays a major role. Health literacy is understood as "the abilities to search for and find relevant health information on the internet, to understand it, to assess its reliability and to implement it" (HLS-GER2 Study 2020).

According to the Health Literacy Study GER2-Study 2020, 74% of the German population has low digital health information literacy, which means, among other things, that these people find it difficult to judge whether information they find is trustworthy.

In the DESIVE² project, we are investigating disinformation in the health sector. We are particularly interested in disinformation that originates in the science system and pseudoscience that gives the impression of seriousness by appearing scientific.

To this end, we are conducting a qualitative study of the disinformation behaviour of people in the health sector, based on grounded theory and the critical incident method. The study aims to develop a model of disinformation behaviour and a classification of scientific disinformation.

We are still looking for test persons for the study, who can find out more about the project and register on our website:

The presentation titled "That’s what I read in a study!" - On the Dissemination of Scientific Seeming Disinformation in the Health Context can be viewed on the Forum Privatheit website.

The slides to the talk as well as the submitted abstract can be found on Zenodo:

Studies mentioned in the blogpost:

Schaeffer, D., Berens, E.-M., Gille, S., Griese, L., Klinger, J., de Sombre, S., Vogt, D., & Hurrelmann, K. (2021). Health literacy of the population in Germany before and during the Corona pandemic: Results of the HLS-GER 2 [Report].

Baumann, E., Czerwinski, F., Rosset, M., Seelig, M., & Suhr, R. (2020). How do people in Germany inform themselves about health? Findings from the first wave of HINTS Germany. Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz, 63(9), 1151-1160.

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