RESEARCH PAPER
Health literacy of Iranian adolescent girls and its determinants
 
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Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Zahra Bostani Khalesi   

Nursing and Midwifery School of Shahid Dr. Beheshti, Hamidyan Shahrak, Shahid Dr. Beheshti Ave., Rasht, Guilan, Iran. Tel. +98 33555058.
Submission date: 2020-11-22
Final revision date: 2020-12-31
Acceptance date: 2020-12-31
Online publication date: 2021-06-08
 
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Adolescent health literacy refers to social and cognitive skills that show the motivation and ability of adolescents to receive and use beneficial knowledge to maintain and promote their health status.

Aim:
Determine the health literacy of Iranian adolescent girls and its determinants.

Material and methods:
This is a cross-sectional-analytical study performed on 324 first- and second-grade high school female students. The sampling method included a multi-stage cluster sampling. Data collection tools included a demographic questionnaire and the health literacy measure for adolescents (HELMA). HELMA consisted of 44 items within 8 areas: self-efficacy, access, reading, understanding, appraisal, use, communication, and numeracy. HELMA was scored based on a 5-point Likert scale.

Results and discussion:
The mean health literacy score of participants was 20.79%. Also, multiple linear regression showed a statistically significant relationship between access area of health literacy with living with one of the parents (P = 0.02), appraisal area with educational level (P = 0.04) and mother’s job (P = 0.03), use the area with mother’s job (P = 0.038), and numeracy area with the who is asked first regarding health or disease-related question (P = 0.004), and understanding the area with parental education (P < 0.01). Overall, the educational level was the most important determinant of health literacy (P = 0.045).

Conclusions:
The results of the present study showed that adolescent girls had lower health literacy level. Therefore, it is suggested that health service providers improve the level of adolescent health literacy level by designing and implementing the relevant programs.

FUNDING
None declared.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest.
 
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