Assessment of the Relationship between Health Literacy and self-care in Afghan Pregnant Mothers with Chronic Diseases

Document Type : Original Article


1 MSc in Midwifery, Department of Midwiferyو School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Instructor, Faculty member of Medical-Surgical Department, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences


Background and Objective: Poor health literacy can increase the risk of chronic disease, especially in vulnerable groups such as pregnant women. Meanwhile, the self-care component can be affected by the level of health literacy. Despite the importance of this issue, accurate information on health literacy in Afghan pregnant mothers living in Iran, and its relationship with their self-care is not available. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine the relationship between health literacy and self-care in Afghan pregnant mothers with chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases). 

Materials and Methods: This descriptive correlational study was performed with the participation of 242 Afghan pregnant mothers referring to the health centers and maternity hospitals affiliated to Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in 2021. Mothers were selected by cluster and stratified methods. The study tools included the questionnaires of pregnant mothers' health literacy, gestational diabetes self-care behavior, hypertensive self-care, and heart disease self-care. Data were analyzed using SPSS 25 statistical software and descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation test. 

Results: The findings showed that there is no significant direct linear relationship between health literacy and self-care of Afghan pregnant women with diabetes (p= 0.001; r = 0.74), and hypertension self-care (p= 0.09; r =0.434), while health literacy has a significant inverse relationship with cardiovascular diseases self-care (p= 0.003; r = -0.37). 

Conclusion: The findings of this study showed the significant relationship between Afghan pregnant mothers’ health literacy and their self-care ability, so it is necessary to pay attention to the increasing awareness of this growing population, which are mainly marginalized in metropolitan areas and are at risk of no awareness


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