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Health literacy mediates the relationship between educational attainment and health behavior: a Danish population-based study

Friis, Karina, Lasgaard, Mathias, Rowlands, Gillian, Osborne, Richard H. and Maindal, Helle T. 2016, Health literacy mediates the relationship between educational attainment and health behavior: a Danish population-based study, Journal of health communication, vol. 21, no. sup2, pp. 54-60, doi: 10.1080/10810730.2016.1201175.

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Title Health literacy mediates the relationship between educational attainment and health behavior: a Danish population-based study
Author(s) Friis, Karina
Lasgaard, Mathias
Rowlands, Gillian
Osborne, Richard H.ORCID iD for Osborne, Richard H. orcid.org/0000-0002-9081-2699
Maindal, Helle T.
Journal name Journal of health communication
Volume number 21
Issue number sup2
Start page 54
End page 60
Total pages 8
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1087-0415
Summary Individuals with a lower education level frequently have unhealthier behaviors than individuals with a higher education level, but the pathway is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate whether health literacy mediates the association between educational attainment and health behavior (smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet) and obesity. The study included respondents ages 25 years or older drawn from a large population-based survey conducted in 2013 (N = 29,473). Two scales from the Health Literacy Questionnaire were used: (a) Understanding health information well enough to know what to do and (b) Ability to actively engage with health care providers. Multiple mediation analyses were conducted using the Karlson-Holm-Breen method. The study showed that health literacy in general and the ability to understand health information in particular mediated the relationship between educational attainment and health behavior, especially in relation to being physically inactive (accounting for 20% of the variance), having a poor diet (accounting for 13% of the variance), and being obese (accounting for 16% of the variance). These findings suggest that strategies for improving health behavior and reducing health inequalities may benefit from adopting a stronger focus on health literacy within prevention, patient education, and other public health interventions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/10810730.2016.1201175
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
0807 Library And Information Studies
2001 Communication And Media Studies
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30086372

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Population Health
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