Health Literacy and Health-Promoting Behaviors in Southern Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Social factors in health promotion research center, Hormozgan health research center, Hormozgan University of medical sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran

2 Hormozgan University of medical sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran

3 Social Determinants in Health Promotion Research Center, Hormozgan Health Institute, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran

4 Biostatistics and epidemiology department, Health faculty, Hormozgan University of medical sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran

5 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Health, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran


Background and Objective: Health-promoting behaviors are fundamental and important activities for the development and maintenance of health in individuals. However, people with inadequate health literacy are in a worse health position. Today, health literacy is considered a main factor involved in healthcare outcomes and costs. The present research aimed to determine the level of health literacy among the 18–64-year-old residents of Hormozgan Province in association with health promotion behaviors.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study on 840 subjects aged from 18 to 64 years, who referred to the urban and rural health centers in Hormozgan, Iran. They were selected through a multi-stratified sampling method in 2017. The data collection instrument was a questionnaire comprised of a demographic section, the test of functional health literacy in adults (TOFHLA), and Walkers’ health promoting lifestyle profile (HPLP-II). The data were analyzed by SPSS version 23 based on the descriptive and analytical statistics tests.
Results: The mean and standard deviation of the subjects’ age was 30.6±8.2 years. Most of the participants (586, 72.2%) had an adequate level of health literacy and 226 subjects (27.8%) had inadequate health literacy. The mean and standard deviation of the overall health promotion behavior was found to be 142.95±20.11, interpreted as an acceptable level. The highest average value was observed in the subclass of self-actualization (27.7±4.9) and the lowest mean related to the subclass of physical activity (17.4±5.4). Internet (43.1%) and appealing to the healthcare team (36.9%) were 43.1% and 36.9%, respectively.
Conclusion: Our findings showed that educational plans are essential based on different domains of health promotion behaviors with a focus on physical activity. It is also necessary to plan for educating different dimensions of health literacy in the virtual world and social health networks.


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