Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Health literacy and cancer screening in older adults

This project aimed to understand: 1) how and why health literacy skills decline during older age, and 2) the implications of literacy skills for participation in colorectal cancer screening offered through the NHS and other preventive behaviours. This project used data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and the ABACUS survey.

This project was initially part of a funded studentship to Dr Lindsay Kobayashi (now at Harvard University) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and University College London, which has been completed.

Dr's Christian von Wagner and Panos Demakakos have recently started to explore additional predictors of health literacy in ELSA (most notably early childhood experiences) and will be looking at the extent to which parental socioeconomic position, and early environmental influences (e.g. exposure to books in childhood) determine health literacy in later life.

This project was completed in 2016.

Principal investigator: Dr Christian von Wagner and Dr Lindsay Kobayashi

Contact: Dr Christian von Wagner (c.wagner[at]ucl.ac.uk) 

Collaborators: Dr Panos DemakakosProf Michael Wolf