Assessment of health literacy among older Finns
Eronen, J., Paakkari, L., Portegijs, E., Saajanaho, M., & Rantanen, T. (2019). Assessment of health literacy among older Finns. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 31(4), 549-556. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-018-1104-9
Published inAging Clinical and Experimental Research
DisciplineGerontologia ja kansanterveysTerveyskasvatusGerontologian tutkimuskeskusGerontology and Public HealthHealth Promotion and Health EducationGerontology Research Center
© The Author(s) 2018.
Aims: This study examined the feasibility of the HLS-EU-Q16 (in Finnish) for use among older Finns and whether the health literacy score correlates with indicators of health and functioning. Methods: To determine the feasibility of the instrument, we first conducted a focus group discussion with nine participants. For the quantitative analyses, we used data from the AGNES cohort study, collected between October 2017 and April 2018 at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. 292 75-year-old Finnish men and women were interviewed face-to-face in their homes. Health literacy was measured with the HLS-EU-Q16 and health literacy score, ranging from 0 to 50, computed. The reproducibility of the instrument was test-retested. Chi-square tests were used to compare health literacy scores between participants by different socioeconomic variables, and Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated to study the associations of health literacy with cognition, depressive symptoms, chronic conditions, life-space mobility and physical performance. Results: The mean health literacy score for all participants was 35.05 (SD 6.32). Participants who rated their financial situation and self-rated health as very good had the highest health literacy scores (38.85, SD 5.09 and 39.22, SD 6.77, respectively). Better health literacy was associated with better cognitive status, fewer depressive symptoms and chronic conditions, higher life-space mobility and better physical performance. Conclusions: The HLS-EU-Q16 is a feasible measure for research purposes among older Finns. The associations between health literacy and indicators of health and functioning need to be more closely investigated in larger samples with a wider age-range. ...
PublisherSpringer - Verlag Italia Srl
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- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland; European Commission
Funding program(s)Academy Project, AoF
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Additional information about fundingThis study was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland; the European Research Council [693045 (to TR)] and the Academy of Finland [310526 to (TR)]. The funding agencies had no role in the study design, conduct, data management, analysis, manuscript preparation or decision to submit the results.
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