Socio-economic correlates of functional health literacy among patients of primary health care in Kosovo

E. Toçi, G. Burazeri, H. Kamberi, N. Jerliu, K. Sorensen, H. Brand

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Functional health literacy (FHL) has been related to individual characteristics, ill-health and disease knowledge. However, the information about FHL in Kosovo is very limited and thus the aim of this study was to assess the demographic and socio-economic correlates of FHL among users of primary health care in Kosovo, a postconflict country in the Western Balkans. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Kosovo between November 2012-February 2013, including a representative sample of 1035 consecutive primary care users aged >/=18 years (60% females; overall mean age: 44.3 +/- 16.9 years; overall response rate: 86%). Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA) was used to assess FHL. General linear model and logistic regression were used to assess the association of TOFHLA score with demographic and socio-economic characteristics. RESULTS: Overall, four out of five participants exhibited inadequate or marginal FHL in this Kosovo sample. FHL score was independently and inversely related to age, but positively associated with educational attainment and being in a situation other than unemployed. CONCLUSIONS: Limited or marginal FHL was very common among primary care users in Kosovo and considerably higher than in the neighbouring Serbia. The low health literacy levels in Kosovo may provide an additional barrier towards achievement of health care goals. There is a need to design and implement suitable and effective educational and health system interventions in the Kosovo context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)842-848
JournalPublic Health
Volume128
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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