Deakin University
Browse

File(s) under embargo

Prevalence of health literacy and its correlates from a national survey of older adults

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-02, 23:21 authored by SD Suppiah, R Malhotra, YW Tan, RL Jessup, LST Chew, WE Tang, A Beauchamp
Background: Health literacy (HL) is an important determinant of health. Sub-optimal HL can have profound consequences for individuals and health systems. However, little is known about the HL of older Singaporeans. Objective: This study determined the prevalence, socio-demographic and health-related correlates of limited and marginal HL among older Singaporeans (≥65 years). Methods: Data from a national survey were analysed (n = 2327). HL was measured using the 4-item BRIEF with a 5-point response scale (range 4–20), and classified as limited, marginal, and adequate. Multinomial logistic regression models were applied to identify correlates of limited and marginal HL versus adequate HL. Results: The weighted prevalence of limited HL was 42.0%, marginal HL was 20.4% and adequate HL was 37.7%. In adjusted regression analysis, older adults in advanced age groups with lower education and those living in 1–3 room flats had higher risk of limited HL. Furthermore, having ≥3 chronic diseases (Relative Risk Ratio [RRR] = 1.70, 95% Confidence Interval [95% CI] = 1.15, 2.52), poor self-rated health (RRR = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.56, 2.77), vision impairment (RRR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.55, 2.80), hearing impairment (RRR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.15, 2.14) and mild cognitive impairment (RRR = 4.87, 95% CI = 2.12, 11.19) were also associated with limited HL. The likelihood of marginal HL was higher among those with lower education, ≥2 chronic diseases, poor self-rated health (RRR = 1.48, 95% CI = 1.09, 2.00), vision impairment (RRR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.06, 1.99) and hearing impairment (RRR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.08, 2.08). Conclusions: Over two-thirds of older adults faced difficulties in reading, understanding, exchanging, and using health information and resources. There is a pressing need to create awareness about the issues that could result from the mismatch between healthcare system demands and the HL of older adults.

History

Journal

Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy

Volume

19

Pagination

906-912

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

1551-7411

eISSN

1934-8150

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

6

Publisher

Elsevier