Is Higher Health Literacy Associated with Better Self-Care in the Elderly?

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor in Health Education and Promotion. Elderly Health Research Center, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran bHealth Education, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi

2 Health Education, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

3 Health Education, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

4 Department of aging Health, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran


Background and Objective:The global increase of the old population has changed into a crisis. The elderly' population low level of health literacy, introduced as a global issue in the 21st century, is considered as a common global problem. Health-promoting self-care behaviors are directly related to the health of the elderly and their quality of life by reducing the mortality and morbidity rates. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the association between health literacy and self-care among the old population in Yazd, Iran.
Materials and Methods:  This cross-sectional study was conducted on 300 elderly people in Yazd. The participants were selected using cluster sampling method. The data collection tools included a demographic questionnaire, a researcher-made questionnaire over self-care behaviors, and Health Literacy for Iranian Adults' questionnaire. Data were analyzed by SPSS20 (SPSS, Inc. Chicago, USA) using descriptive and inferential statistical tests.
Results: The participants' average age was 66 years. The studied elderly people achieved 79.5% and 65.7% of the maximum attainable levels of the health literacy and self-care scores, respectively. A direct correlation was observed between the health literacy and self-care scores.
Conclusion: Regarding the moderate level of self-care in the elderly people and its relationship with health literacy, appropriate educational interventions are required for the elderlies and their families in the field of health literacy. These trainings should be aimed to improve the old people' self-care and responsiveness with regard to various diseases by increasing their health literacy.


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