Exploration of Health Literacy Among Multi-Ethnic Women

Tuesday, 31 July 2012: 1:30 PM

Hsiu-Min Tsai, PhD, RN1
Hsiu-Hung Wang, RN, PhD2
Ching-Yu Cheng, PhD, RN3
Yung-Mei Yang, PhD, RN4
Fang-Hsin Lee, MSN, RN2
(1)Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan
(2)College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
(3)School of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi, Taiwan
(4)School of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: To understand the levels of health literacy in four different ethnic groups of women.

Learning Objective 2: To understand related predictive factors of health literacy among multi-ethnic women in Taiwan.

Purpose: The purpose of the study is to examine the influencing factors of health literacy and to identify the predictors of health literacy among multi-ethic women in Taiwan.

Methods: The design of the study utilizes a cross-sectional questionnaire survey. A total of 368 multi-ethnic women including Ho-Lo, Aborigines, Chinese mainlanders, and Vietnamese were recruited using a convenience and snowball sampling. Four instruments were used including the Demographic Inventory, Short Form-36 Health Survey, Adults' Health-Promoting Behavior scale, and Taiwan Health Literacy questionnaire. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation analyses, and regression.

Results: Participants did not score high on health literacy and all domains of the Health Promoting Behavior scale. Among different ethnicities, Taiwanese had significantly higher score on health literacy than other’s ethnic women. Participants who had higher household income scored higher on health literacy than those who had lower household income. Participants who were diagnosed of some disease had higher score than those who did not have disease. Health literacy was correlated with health promoting behaviors (r=.30) with medium effect size but not with any domains of quality of life. Both quality of life and health promoting behaviors could explain 12.8% of the variance of health literacy (F=5.24, p<.001). Health promoting behaviors had predictive relationship with health literacy (B=.01, t=5.16, p<.001). Of eight domains of quality of life, only vitality domain remained in the regression model (B=-.01, t=-2.45, p=.02).

Conclusion: The findings of this study not only can explore the current situations and influencing factors of the health literacy among multi-ethnic women but also can provide government as references in making appropriate teaching program and health policies for these multi-ethnic females in Taiwan. This presentation describes part of a larger study that was funded by National Science Council (NSC 99-2511-S-255 -004 ).