Comparison of health literacy between the pregnant women referring to health care centers and those referring to private offices

Document Type : Original Article


1 Medical student, Faculty of Medicine, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad Branch,Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Community Medicine, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

4 Educational Development Center,Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran


Background and objectives:Mothers' health literacy during pregnancy expresses social and cognitive skills that motivates and empowers them to receive and use useful knowledge. The purpose of this study was to compare the health literacy between the pregnant women referring to health care centers and those referring to private offices.

Materials and Methods:This cross-sectional study was performed on 100 pregnant women referred to health centers and 100 pregnant women referred to private clinics in Mashhad, 2017.The Persian S-TOFHLA questionnaire was used to asses health literacy. The collected data were analyzed using chi2 and t-test tests and regression logistic analysis.

Results: The pregnant women who referred to health centers and private offices had 44% and 28% of inadequate health literacy, respectively (p<0.05). The variables of age, education, occupation, pregnancy rank, number of live births, gestational age and household income were significantly correlated with functional health literacy of pregnant women (p <0.05). Also, the variables of household income, gestational age, education and maternal age were significantly correlated with overall health literacy (p <0.05).

Conclusion:Inadequate health literacy is a relatively common problem among pregnant women. It is imperative that health system staff, including those working in public and private centers have the skills to consult and evaluate pregnant women in health literacy.


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