Health Literacy of Rural Population of Kazakhstan
Background: To date, there is no data available of health literacy of the population in Kazakhstan. This study was aimed to assess the health literacy of the rural population for the development of the targeted health education programs.
Methods: The adapted HLS-EU-Q47 survey was carried out among 1650 respondents aged 18-76 from rural settlements in Almaty region of Kazakhstan in 2013. The health literacy competences to assess, understand, appraise and apply health information on healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion were measured. The associations between the health literacy competencies and demographic and socio-economic characteristics were shown through a multiple linear regression analysis.
Results: The overall health literacy rate of the rural population of Almaty region was problematic and inadequate. With regards to their age, sex, social and economic characteristics, the health literacy competencies differ according to health literacy domain. Respondents with low education level or perceived social status had respectively low health literacy scores, especially in appraising and applying information of disease prevention.
Conclusion: Low educated people and with lower income have lower health literacy in comparison to respondents with higher education level and higher income. Respondents with higher health literacy have higher rate of self-assessed health.
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