Health Literacy: Current Status and Challenges in the Work of Family Doctors in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Health literacy (HL) has become an important area of research. The aim of this study was to evaluate the HL of primary healthcare patients in the Republic of Srpska (RS), Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) and to identify socioeconomic and health factors associated with HL. This cross-sectional study among 768 patients was conducted in two healthcare centres between March and May 2017, using the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA). Analysis was done using descriptive and inferential statistics (a chi-squared test and logistic regression). Inadequate and marginal HL was found in 34,6% of respondents. Socioeconomic and self-reported health factors were significantly related to HL. An age of 55 years and over (OR 1.02), living in a rural environment (OR 2.25), being divorced (OR 3.32), being insufficiently physically active (OR 1.29), having poor income (OR 1.96), having more than three chronic diseases (OR 1.94), and poor health (OR 1.59) were significantly corelated with inadequate and marginal HL. The results of our study indicate that a low level of HL is related to the elderly, having a divorce, having a rural residence, poor income, having more than three chronic diseases, poor health, and insufficient physical activity. Further evaluation, monitoring, and activities to improve HL are of great importance for patients’ health outcomes.
health literacy; S-TOFHLA; primary health care; Bosnia and Herzegovina