Korean J Adult Nurs.  2017 Jun;29(3):256-265. 10.7475/kjan.2017.29.3.256.

Health Literacy and Health Behaviors among Older Adults with Cardio-cerebrovascular Disease Residing in Rural Areas

  • 1Department of Nursing, Mokpo Catholic University, Mokpo, Korea. mslee@mcu.ac.kr


The aim of this study was to identify levels of health literacy and reported health behaviors among older adults with cardio-cerebrovascular disease residing in rural areas.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a convenience sample of 134 older people (mean age=75.5 years, 71.6% Female) registered at seven health centers. The structured questionnaires were used to measure levels of health literacy and health behaviors.
The average functional health literacy score was 6.08±3.04, and the health behavior score was 62.92±6.45. Respectively health behavior was positively associated with health literacy. Education, economic status, number of family members, number of social activities and health literacy were contribution factors explaining 40.64% of the variance in health behavior. Health literacy specifically explained 12.5% of health behavior.
These findings suggest that strategies for improving health behaviors and reducing health inequalities may benefit from adopting a stronger focus on health literacy within prevention, patient education, and other public health interventions. Further longitudinal studies are needed to help confirm that improving health literacy in the elderly may be effective in changing health behaviors.

MeSH Terms

Cardiovascular Diseases
Cerebrovascular Disorders
Cross-Sectional Studies
Health Behavior*
Health Literacy*
Longitudinal Studies
Patient Education as Topic
Public Health
Socioeconomic Factors

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