Health literacy in higher education students: comparison of nursing students with students from other areas. Health literacy in higher education students in Viseu

Odete Amaral, Ana Rita Pedro, Nélio Veiga, Ana Escoval, Manuela Ferreira

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Abstract

Introduction: Increasingly, health literacy is considered a public health priority. The association between literacy and health is essential for health promotion, disease prevention and use of health services. The objectives of this study were to determine the level of health literacy in higher educational students and to identify associated factors. Methods: We carried out an analytical cross - sectional epidemiological study with a sample of 503 higher educational students from the five schools of the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Portugal. The majority of the sample was female (67.4%); mean age of 21.59 ± 4.35 years, 43.3% lived in rural areas and 55.3% of the students attended the nursing course. The data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire and presented socio-demographic and academic variables and also the Portuguese version of the health literacy questionnaire (HLS-EU-PT). Results: Most students (53.9%) had a sufficient level of overall literacy. In all domains of the questionnaire, most students presented a sufficient or problematic level of health literacy. Nursing students presented higher averages of health literacy, in general and in all domains, compared to students in other courses. Sociodemographic variables were not significantly associated with health literacy. Regarding the academic variables, being a nursing student was positively associated with the level of literacy (p = 0.01) and the young ‘student-workers’ had a lower level of health literacy in the health promotion field (Average Order = 212.72 vs. 258.04, p = 0.02). Conclusions: This study suggests that it is necessary to improve the level of health literacy of young people, future adults and some future health professionals.
Translated title of the contributionLiteracia em saúde em estudantes do ensino superior: comparação entre estudantes de enfermagem e estudantes de outras áreas. Literacia em saúde em estudantes do ensino superior de Viseu
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalINFAD
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Health literacy
  • Students
  • Higher education
  • Epidemiological study
  • Nursing

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