Health literacy and its influencing factors in Iranian diabetic patients

Zahra Mohammadi, Arash Tehrani Banihashemi*, Homa Asgharifard, Mehran Bahramian, Hamid Reza Baradaran, Mohammad E. Khamseh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Health literacy is the ability to obtain, read, understand and use healthcare information to make appropriate health decisions and follow instructions for treatment. The aim of this study was to identify the effect of various factors on health literacy in patients with diabetes. Methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study of 407 Iranian patients older than 15 years of age with type 1 and 2 diabetes identified from the Diabetes Clinic affiliated to the Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism (IEM) of Iran University of Medical Sciences. We assessed patients' health literacy using the Persian version of Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA) questionnaire. Results: The mean age of the patients was 55.85 years, and 251 (61.7%) of them were female. Females had lower educational level compared to males (p< 0.001). In total, 18.2%, 11.8% and 70.0% of the participants had adequate, marginal and inadequate health literacy scores, respectively. Tukey's post hoc test revealed that employed patients enjoyed (am not sure about enjoy) a high health literacy level compared to housekeepers (p< 0.001). Conclusion: Health literacy score in Iranian patients with diabetes seems low. Therefrom effective interventions should be designed and implemented for this group of patients to improve diabetes outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number230
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Early online date11 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Diabetic patients
  • Health literacy
  • Influencing factors


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