Association between health status, behaviour and communicative health literacy-Results of a Hungarian nationalwide survey
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Doctoral School of Health Sciences, University of Debrecen, Debrecen/Hungary. Department of Public Helath & Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Hungary
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A890
Background and Objective:
The ability of a person to obtain, interpret, and use health information is crucial for their health status. Research on health literacy has been increasing significantly, perhaps because of its impact on health care services, the health and well-being of the population. Communicative health literacy (COMM-HL) is an important aspect in healthcare services as it affects the way how a person interprets and eventually conveys a message, which could change the health behaviour and consequently the health status of an individual. Given the importance of COMM-HL, the field has become more important from the public health perspective, especially in health promotion. Our aim was to find the link between health status, behaviour and COMM-HL.

A total of 1205 Hungarian adults aged 18 years and older completed the telephone interview as part of the international Health Literacy Survey 2019. The questionnaire included items among others on sociodemographic data, health status, health behaviour and communicative health literacy. Statistical weights were applied to ensure that estimates reflect the general adult Hungarian population by gender, age group, educational level, and settlement type. The relationship between COMM-HL and the health outcome variables was investigated by binary logistic regression.

The mean score of the COMM-HL scale was 86.8, nearly one-eighth of the respondents had difficulties during communication in health care services. Individuals with high level of COMM-HL had lower odds of limitation by health problems and higher odds of regular physical activity and daily fruit and vegetable consumption.

The study found some association between COMM-HL and the investigated variables, high level of COMM-HL contributes to a better health outcome and behaviour. Therefore, the COMM-HL of patients should be improved. Enhancing of the health care professionals’ communication skills and environmental changes could support this process.