Int J Epidemiol Res. 2019;6(1): 24-29.
doi: 10.15171/ijer.2019.05
  Abstract View: 291
  PDF Download: 209

Original Article

Adult Functional Health Literacy and its Related Factors: A Cross-Sectional Study  

Babak Moeini 1 ORCID logo, Masomeh Rostami-Moez 2* ORCID logo, Fereshteh Besharat 3, Javad Faradmal 4, Saeed Bashirian 3

1 1 Department of Public Health, School of Public Health, Social Determinants of Health Research Center Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
2 Research Center for Health Sciences Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
3 School of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
4 Modeling of Noncommunicable Diseases Research Center & Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Email: ma.rostamimoez@gmail.com


Background and aims: Health literacy (HL) can affect individual health, health communication and error in taking medicine. The aim of this study was to determine the level of HL and associated factors among Iranian adults. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 240 participants over 18 years of age referring to health centers in Hamadan, west of Iran in 2015 were selected by multistage random sampling. HL was assessed by the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA). The questionnaire was completed by a trained interviewer. The independent variables were structural and intermediate social factors based on the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH). Data were analyzed by using IBM SPSS version 22. Results: Average age of the participants was 30.88 ±7.38 years and 75.4% of the them were female. The total score of HL was 64.58 ±16.71 (range: 23.82-98.98). Overall, 31.7% (n=76) of the participants had adequate HL level, 32.5% (n=78) had borderline HL level and 35.8% (n=86) had inadequate HL level. Additionally, participants with higher educational levels had higher HL scores than those with lower educational levels (P<0.001). HL score was significantly higher in males than in females (P=0.017). Conclusion: HL level seems to be inadequate among Iranian adults in the west of Iran. Moreover, enhancing social determinants such as educational level seems to increase HL. The results highlighted the necessity for change and improvement in adults’ HL. 
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Submitted: 23 May 2018
Accepted: 05 Jan 2019
ePublished: 19 Jan 2019
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