Health Literacy Levels of Women and Related Factors in Turkey

AYAZ ALKAYA S., Ozturk F. O.

JOURNAL OF NURSING RESEARCH, vol.29, no.6, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/jnr.0000000000000452
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: women, women's health, health literacy, health promotion
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Background Health literacy is a complex issue affecting the health outcomes of women and their families. Purpose This study was conducted to determine the health literacy levels and related factors of women attending various courses in family centers of a municipality. Methods This cross-sectional research was conducted on a sample of women enrolled in various courses at eight family centers in a city center. The sample consisted of 837 women who agreed to participate. The participation rate was 76%. Two different health literacy scales were used to collect data for analysis. Results Of the women, 50.4% were over 40 years old, 35.2% were high school graduates, 89.6% were not working, 53.2% self-reported their monthly income as equal to their monthly expenses, 88.8% had social security, 28.4% had chronic diseases, 29.2% used medication regularly, 35.2% had visual problems, 7.8% had hearing problems, and 77.9% used the internet. According to the results of the Turkish Health Literacy Scale, 45.9% of the participants were in the inadequate category, 30.6% were in the inadequate and limited category, 16.0% were in the adequate category, and 7.4% were in the excellent category. Women aged 40 years and over, those who were elementary school graduates, those who had visual and hearing problems, those who used eyewear, those whose monthly income was less than expenses, and those who were non-internet users respectively had mean health literary scores that were significantly below the mean score for all participants (p < .05). Conclusions/Implications for Practice The largest number of participants was categorized has having a "low-insufficient" level of health literacy. Age, educational level, income, having visual and hearing problems, wearing glasses, and internet use were found to affect level of health literacy. For this reason, factors such as age, educational level, income, vision and hearing problems, use of eyeglasses, and internet use should be considered when planning initiatives to increase health literacy in women.