Health literacy and Its relationship with general health of women referring to health care centers

Document Type : Original Article


1 Dept. of Health Education and Health Promotion, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences , Mashhad, Iran

2 Student research committee, Department of Health Education and Promotion, School of Public Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran


Research background: Health literacy is an essential element of a woman’s ability to understand, process, and act on health-related information and spans health promotion and disease prevention activities. The aim of this study was to determine the status of health literacy, general health and the relationship between them in women referring to health centers.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 100 women aged 18-65 years old referred to health centers. Samples were selected randomly from among those who had the criteria for entering the study. In this study, questionnaires of Health Literacy for Iranian Adults (HELIA) and general health (GHQ-28) were used.

Results: In this study, the mean (standard deviation) of the health literacy and public health scores were 68.42 (17.29) and 27.16 (11.74) respectively. Only 21.3% of people had adequate levels of health literacy. Also, based on the results, only 41.5% of the participants were healthy in terms of general health variables. According to Pearson correlation results, health literacy was significantly correlated with the social function disorder variable and did not show a significant correlation with other general health constructs.

Conclusion: Based on the results obtained in this study, most people in this study have an inappropriate health literacy level and, on the other hand, the general health status of most of them is undesirable. According to the important role that women have in family and community, it is necessary to pay more attention to the health status of this group in the community and to design and implement appropriate training programs to increase their level of health literacy.


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