Study of health literacy and health behavior in Almaty City and Almaty Region, Kazakhstan: Gaukhar Baisunova

European Journal of Public Health, Nov 2016

Baisunova, GS, Turdaliyeva, BS, Tulebayev, KA

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Study of health literacy and health behavior in Almaty City and Almaty Region, Kazakhstan: Gaukhar Baisunova

- Study of health literacy and health behavior in Almaty City and Almaty Region, Kazakhstan Gaukhar Baisunova GS Baisunova, BS Turdaliyeva, KA Tulebayev Department of Health care policy and management, S Asfendiyarov Kazakh National medical university, Almaty, Kazakhstan Contact: Background One of the challenges for public health policy is the development of the effective interventions to enhance health literacy of the population and improve health outcomes. To do so a baseline level of the population health literacy should be researched. Methods We conducted a cross sectional study among residents of Almaty city and Almaty region using a comprehensive internationally validated tool - HLS-EU-Q. A total of 2000 potential respondents at the age of 18 y. o. and over who attended primary healthcare organizations during the period of study were randomly recruited to participate in the survey. After checking the correctness of the anonymous questionnaires 905 urban and 826 rural questionnaires were included into the analysis. Health literacy indices were calculated and main socio economic and behavioral determinants were identified. Results In Almaty city GHL in men was 34.0 8.6 and in women 33.49 9.4. There was no significant difference in HL levels in men and women. In Almaty region GHL was 35.7 9.9in men and 34.0 9.6 in women. GHL was significantly higher in men than in women(p < 0.05). 45.5% of urban and 42.1% of rural respondents had limited general health literacy (GHL). General HL (GHL) in both samples was higher in respondents who exercised at least 30 minutes per day several times a week than in respondents who didn’t exercise at all (p < 0.005). General HL (GHL) in both samples was higher in respondents who never smoked than in those who used to smoke and quitted (p < 0.05) Conclusions The study highlighted mutual influence of health literacy and health behavior, the results can serve for the development of the effective public health inteventions to improve population’s health outcomes. Key messages: Health literacy was higher in respondents who exercised regularly Health literacy was higher in respondents who never smoked


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Baisunova, GS, Turdaliyeva, BS, Tulebayev, KA. Study of health literacy and health behavior in Almaty City and Almaty Region, Kazakhstan: Gaukhar Baisunova, European Journal of Public Health, 2016, DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckw175.020