Assessment Of Health Literacy Level In 18-30 Year-Old Adults, An Iranian Experience.

Author:Ansari, Masoumeh


Health literacy as a widespread concept in health promotion was mentioned in health literature from 1970 (Javadzade et al. 2012, Nielsen-Bohlman, Panzer and Kindig 2004, Organization 1998, Parker et al. 1999). The World Health Organization has defined health literacy as one of the most important determinants of health (Nielsen-Bohlman et al. 2004). Bohlman, Panzer, Kindig have introduced health literacy as a set of capacities, access skills, comprehension, information assessment in health services and health care utilization in other to obtain health promotion (Nielsen-Bohlman et al. 2004). According to WHO, health literacy is social and cognitive skills determine individuals ability and motivation to obtain and access information and realizing them to make suitable decision for medical health care (Kickbusch Wait and Maag 2005, Nielsen-Bohlman et al. 2004, Organization 1998). Sihota, Lennard have declared reading, listening, analyzing, making decision and ability to hide them in health and hygiene situation, it does not necessarily related to years of education and reading ability (Sihota and Lennard 2004).

Health literacy is an important index in health care costs and results. Health care's system needs a high health and hygiene literacy level (Baker 2006, Peyman 2016). Dodson et. al. and Bohlman et al revealed that health literacy describes ability of information interaction and health services interaction. This term considers people capacity to obtain, interpretation, and information conception and health services for making better decisions (Dodson, Good and Osborne 2015, Nielsen-Bohlman et al. 2004). Heath literacy means physical health including knowledge of healthy diet, self surveillance, and first aid skills and how to search health information from existing sources in libraries and websites (Jorm 2000). Health literacy is one subset of literacy skills. "Health literacy" implies individuals and communicative factors. Total literacy skills include individuals' ability for reading, writing, language comprehension, (print literacy) speaking, vocal language comprehension, numbers utilization in daily life (counting) (Nielsen-Bohlman et al. 2004, Rothman, Montori, Cherrington and Pignone 2008). Considering the importance of health literacy, it became a global challenging issue in 21st century (Nutbeam and Kickbusch 2000). WHO through a report introduced health literacy as the most undeniable determinants of health, therefore it was advised to all countries to conducting an association including people who affected by this issue for monitoring and coordinating strategic activities concerning health promotion in societies (Health and Organization 2008, Tol, Pourreza, Tavasoli and Rahimi Foroshani 2012).

In developing countries, people are facing with information and health information pollution increasingly (WHO Organization 2016). Confronted with complex health systems for human even people with adequate literacy is onerous (Chew, Bradley and Boyko 2004) Thus having health literacy is necessary(WHO Organization 2016). People those have high level of health literacy have more welfare and health and pleasurable life too (WHO Organization, 2016).

Awesome outcome of health literacy appears in health services utilization. Those have high health literacy have better collaboration, Moreover they accept directions and perform well (Peerson and Saunders 2009). On the other hand individuals with inadequate health literacy have less knowledge about health and receive fewer preventive services, chronic disease control is low too. Their physical and mental performance is poor. They don't pay attention more to oral and written information presented by Health professionals. Their participation was less in treatment decision and hence they have poor health status (Chew et al. 2004, Peerson and Saunders 2009, Powers, Trinh and Bosworth 2010). Their tendency to risky behavior and health stimulants is more prevalent (WHO Organization 2016). People with inadequate health literacy need to hospital services more and they should pay medical costs much and the rate of death in those people is considerable compare to individuals with high health literacy (Chew et al. 2004, Peerson and Saunders 2009, Powers et al. 2010). Although it hasn't already distinguished that how does health literacy affect on health, but there are many proofs showing health deficiency result from inadequate health literacy (M. Williams, Parker, Baker, Coates and Nurss 1995). Subsequences of low health literacy appear directly and indirectly (Parker et al. 1999). Low health literacy leads to socioeconomic loss and sometimes prevents people to have social interaction and not to achieve their goals. Low health literacy causes society economic loss too (Karimi, Keyvanara, Hosseini, Jafarian and khorasani 2014, Kickbusch et al. 2005, van der Heide et al. 2013, M. V. Williams, Baker, Parker and Nurss 1998). Understanding knowledge, attitude of people about health literacy components and skills is very momentous. It seems that health literacy efforts impacts on socioeconomic reform (van der Heide et al. 2013). Developed and wealthy countries such as the United States have experienced limited health literacy probably (Tique et al. 2016).

Health literacy can be used in different aspects such as Individual patient care to community-level development completion and to improve individual's admission and people empowering and societies (Batterham, Hawkins, Collins, Buchbinder and Osborne 2016). Due to important role of health literacy in making decision related to health, health literacy assessment as a substantial issue and basic tools for society's health level promotion and health services quality has attended by policy markers (Organization 2016, Paasche-Orlow, Parker, Gazmararian, Nielsen-Bohlman, and Rudd 2005, Tavousi et al. 2016). Health literacy level of students, library users, the elderly and pregnant women is evaluated considered to importance of Health literacy in public health growth. Some studies showed health literacy is inadequate (Banihashemi, Amirkhani and Haghdoost 2007, Ghanbari, Majlessi, Ghaffari and Mahmoodi Majdabadi 2012, Khosravi and Ahmadzadeh 2016, Reisi et al. 2012).

According to health networks dispersion and key role in health services and public health literacy promotion, health literacy in these centers is necessary to effective planning for community health promotion. Based on Shemiranat health center website, this center is one of the developed center which has achieved health indicators in high level centers in Iran, people referred to this center for health care intensively. Considering the importance of this crucial issue, more research has conducted...

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