Measuring health literacy in university students in Vientiane, Lao PDR

Runk, Laina, Durham, Jo, Vongxay, Viengnakhone and Sychareun, Vanphanom (2016) Measuring health literacy in university students in Vientiane, Lao PDR. Health Promotion International, 32 2: 360-368. doi:10.1093/heapro/daw087

Author Runk, Laina
Durham, Jo
Vongxay, Viengnakhone
Sychareun, Vanphanom
Title Measuring health literacy in university students in Vientiane, Lao PDR
Journal name Health Promotion International   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0957-4824
Publication date 2016-12-24
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/heapro/daw087
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 32
Issue 2
Start page 360
End page 368
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Abstract Health literacy includes the knowledge, motivation and competence of a person to make judgments and decisions on health information in order to promote and maintain their health in relation to health care, disease prevention and health promotion. The role health literacy plays in determining health outcomes makes it an important focus of public health research. In line with a larger Asia wide initiative (HLS-Asia), this study set out to measure health literacy in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao-PDR). A mixed-methods study design was employed. The HLS-Asia questionnaire was conducted as a self-administered survey with first year students at the National University of Lao PDR in Vientiane. The survey was complimented with in-depth, vignette style interviews. Student’s scores on the questionnaire showed problematic health literacy levels, with clear patterns to the type of questions students struggled with. However, responses in the interviews suggested a higher level of health literacy. These findings highlight the importance of health systems and social context in health literacy. The results question the appropriateness of the HLS measurement tool, but more broadly suggest that health literacy may be a concept only comparable between populations when social, economic and health systems are measured concurrently.
Keyword Health literacy
Developing countries
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Public Health Publications
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Created: Tue, 24 Jan 2017, 17:40:31 EST by Jo Durham on behalf of School of Public Health