Researcher : Dr. Abdullah AlRibdi
National Guard Program – Riyadh
Background:Health Literacy defined as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.Low health literacy had been associated with worse health status and poor health outcomes.
Main Objective: To assess health literacy in Saudi adults visiting NGHA Family Medicine clinics.
Methods: A cross sectional survey on400 Saudi adults between the age of 18 – 60 years who had visited four family medicine clinics in Riyadh. Arabic translated and validated version of HLS-EU-Q was used as tool for health literacy assessment in our study. Participants were classified based on their score into four levels (inadequate health literacy, problematic health literacy, sufficient health literacy and excellent health literacy). Association between level of health literacy with socio-demographic data, health status, frequency of hospital visit and physical activity were explored using Chi squire,t-test, ANOVA.
Results: Study included 400 Saudi adults, 53% female, 48.8% employed, 38.3% with chronic illness, and mean age was (34 years ±10.6 years).We found 19.5% had inadequate health literacy and 41% had problematic health literacy, 62% had limited health literacy(inadequate + problematic), older age were significantly correlated with inadequate of health literacy)r=.102 p=.0.042 (. There was also an association between inadequate health literacy with presence of chronic illness, low level of education and unemployment. We didn’t find any relation between health literacy with marital status, frequency of hospital visit and physical activity.
Conclusion: We found that Low health literacy is prevalent problem in Saudi adults. The study acknowledged known risk factors for low health literacy like older age, low level of education and presence of chronic illness. Further research to explore HL in general population is advised.
Key words: Health Literacy, Saudi Arabia, HLS-EU, Family medicine