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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064

Abstract

MACHA-QUILLAMA, Luis F.; SAMANAMU-LEANDRO, Angel E.  and  RODRIGUEZ-HURTADO, Diana C.. Health literacy and associated factors in patients attending the Outpatient Internal Medicine Service of a national hospital of Lima, Peru. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2017, vol.19, n.5, pp.679-685. ISSN 0124-0064.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n5.53008.

Objective

To determine health literacy in patients attending the Outpatient Internal Medicine Service of a national hospital of Lima, Peru, in March 2014 in order to establish factors associated with inadequate health literacy.

Materials and Methods

Descriptive study. The Short Assessment of Health Literacy for Spanish Adults (SAHLSA-50) was used after partial cultural validation. Expert opinion and measurement of the correlation coefficient were considered. Subsequently, the test was applied in a sample of 363 patients selected by simple systematic random sampling.

Results

For partial cultural validation, 17 items of the original test were modified and a Pearson correlation coefficient of r=0.81 was obtained. After cultural validation, the test was applied, finding that 73.3 % were women, 14.0 % were seniors, and 52.6 % completed high school. Furthermore, 35.3 % were affiliated to health insurance subsidized by the government (Comprehensive Health Insurance or SIS by its acronym in Spanish). 15.20 % did not use any health service during the past year and 34.4 % had inadequate health literacy. Variables such as senior age, poor education, SIS insurance and fewer visits to health services within the past year have a significant association with inadequate levels of health literacy (p<0.05).

Conclusions

One third of patients attending the Outpatient Internal Medicine Service of the Hospital Nacional Arzobispo Loayza had inadequate health literacy. Variables such as senior age, poor education, SIS insurance and fewer visits to health services within the past year have a significant association with inadequate levels of health literacy.

Keywords : Health literacy; physicians' offices; Peru (source: MeSH, NLM).

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