The authors wanted to determine the prevalence of limited health literacy, and the relation between health literacy and beliefs about medicines, in an obstetric population. A survey was administered in Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. The Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine and the general section of the Beliefs About Medicines Questionnaire were used. Of 404 women, 15.3% (n = 62) displayed limited health literacy. Age and health literacy were significantly associated with one another, as were health literacy and level at which participants completed formal education. In the general harm domain, level of education and health literacy were associated with stronger beliefs: M = 11.85, SD = 2.81 vs. M = 9.75, SD = 2.11; F(3) = 13.69, p <.001. In the general overuse domain, those with limited literacy scored higher compared with those with adequate health literacy: M = 12.48, SD = 2.73 versus M = 11.51, SD = 2.63 (p =.01). These associations remained despite controlling for age (and education) in multivariable analyses. More than 1 in 7 had limited health literacy; these women may benefit from educational initiatives. Limited health literacy is associated with a more negative perception of medicines in this cohort.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health(social science)
- Library and Information Sciences