The comparison of health literacy between health science and non-health science members-A cross sectional study of multifaceted public health affair

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Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health


Background/Objectives: Health literacy is a global concern and is varied across the general population. It is the means to enhance public access to health information and services. The objective of this study was to compare the health literacy among health science and non-health science members and to identify the barriers to health literacy. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the faculty of health sciences and health sciences teaching institutes. A total of 230 samples were included using stratified proportionate sampling. The Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) and the tool on perceived barriers to health literacy were used to collect the data. Results: The health literacy among health sciences people was better compared to the non-health sciences people (p < 0.05) in all the domains. The Cohen's d effect size showed that the difference was statistically significant (Effect size between >0.2 and < 0.8). The top four barriers for health literacy identified were: Home remedies are preferred to medicines for minor ailments, failure to meet doctors due to the job timings, inability to take care of self-due to busy working hours, and priority for the health of family members than one's own health. Conclusion: Health literacy is an important factor that helps every individual to make health-care decisions and enhances one's ability to get the right information. Evaluating the barriers to health literacy gives us the specific areas of concern. The relevant measures must be implemented to improve the knowledge and health literacy, which can lead to better health outcomes.



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