Components of e-health literacy

Six components

Researchers identified six components of e-health literacy:

  1. traditional literacy and numeracy
  2. computer literacy
  3. information literacy
  4. health literacy
  5. media literacy
  6. science literacy

They called the model of e-health literacy the lily model, showing the constellation of factors that together result in e-health literacy. People need to possess a wider range of knowledge and skills in order to use the internet to obtain information and communicate with others. This starts with ability to use a computer. There are examples of successful activities in training people with low literacy to use computers. Peer group learning is a valuable approach, where people help each other to acquire skills. Find PDF here

Media literacy

Media literacy concerns the ability to identify suitable information from a vast range of different kinds of sources and to critically analyse it. Several organisations have developed tools to increase media literacy. Find link here and here.

The Lily model



Download PDF here

There has been extensive research into enabling people to use electronic means of information and communication, or helping people to be e-health literate. Find link here

The European Commission has created an extensive inventory of studies into e-health. Find link here


Norman, C. D., & Skinner, H. A. (2006). eHealth literacy: essential skills for consumer health in a networked world. Journal of medical Internet research, 8(2).
Xie. Older adults, e-health literacy, and collaborative learning: An experimental study. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology; volume 62, Issue 5, pages 933–946:May 2011.