Health literacy in a population-based sample of adult men and women in a South Eastern European country

E. Toçi*, G. Burazeri, S. Myftiu, K. Sorensen, H. Brand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Health literacy (HL) may be an important determinant of health, but this concept is largely under-researched in Albania, a transitional country in the Western Balkans which is currently undergoing major political and socioeconomic changes. We aimed to assess the sociodemographic distribution of HL in this transitional South Eastern European country aspiring to join the European Union. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in urban Tirana, the capital of Albania, during September 2012-February 2014 including a representative population-based sample of 1154 adult individuals aged >/=18 years (57% women; 89% response). HL was assessed using the full version (47 items) of the 'Health Literacy Survey-European Union Questionnaire'. Spearman's correlation coefficients were used to assess the linear associations between HL indexes with demographic and socioeconomic correlates of study participants. RESULTS: Overall HL was significantly higher among younger, highly educated and better-off participants. Conversely, no significant differences were noticed regarding sex, employment status or marital status of respondents. CONCLUSIONS: Sociodemographic correlates of HL among Albanian adults showed similar trends with those observed in other former communist countries of Europe. Current findings may help policymakers tailor accordingly future interventions and programs to improve health status of Albanian citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-13
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • Albania
  • disease prevention
  • health literacy
  • health promotion
  • survey

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