Association of health literacy with self-rated health and health-related quality of life in Slovak adults

  • P. Kolarcik
  • E. Čepová
  • P. Tavel
  • A. Madarasova Geckova


Background: Self-rated health (SRH) and health related quality of life (HRQoL) is associated with many factors including health literacy (HL) defined by WHO as “the personal, cognitive and social skills which determine the ability of individuals to gain access to, understand, and use information to promote and maintain good health”. This association was determined mainly on chronic patients but only few studies focused on general population. The aim of our study is to examine the associations of HL with SRH and HRQoL in Slovak adult population sample. Method: Cross-sectional study on 360 participants (RR=72%; 47.8 % of males, mean age=39, SD=14) recruited in dental offices was conducted. Data on demographics, 9 domains of health literacy (HLQ) and HRQoL (SF12) were collected by questionnaire. The effects of HL on HRQoL and SRH were analysed using t-test and logistic regression. Findings: Significant association of health literacy with SRH (Odds ratios (OR) 1.49-2.11, p<0.05) and HRQoL was found. Higher levels of HLQ domains (6.-9.) were associated with higher odds (age and gender adjusted) to report above-average physical component score in HRQoL (ORs 1.61-1.88, p<0.01) and higher scores in almost all HLQ domains (except domain 5.) were associated with lower odds to report above average mental component score in HRQoL. Discussion: Higher health literacy predicts better SRH, higher HRQoL in physical health but interestingly lower HRQoL in mental health. Concept of multidimensional HL proved to be perspective predictor of SRH and HRQoL also in general Slovak adult population.
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