Child Health Nurs Res.  2014 Oct;20(4):322-331. 10.4094/chnr.2014.20.4.322.

Health Literacy of Elementary School Students

Affiliations
  • 1Masan Community Health Center, Masan, Korea.
  • 2College of Nursing, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea. iskwon@gnu.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
The purpose of this study was to identify health literacy levels of elementary school students.
METHODS
Participants were 331 fifth and sixth graders in nine elementary schools located in Gyeongsangnam-do. Instruments were 42 health-related words derived from fifth-grade textbook 'Health in Daily Life' for linguistic health literacy, modified Korean Health Literacy Assessment Tool (KHLAT) for numeracy section of functional health literacy, items from a snack box and newspaper article for reading comprehension section of functional health literacy. Data were collected from July 15 to August 15, 2013.
RESULTS
The mean score for linguistic health literacy was 24.02+/-7.16 of 42 (57.2% were correct answers). The mean score for functional health literacy was 9.27+/-2.30 of 12 (77.3% were correct answers). There were significant differences in health literacy by grade and academic performance.
CONCLUSION
This study results show that both linguistic and functional health literacy among elementary school students were not high enough to use health-related information and make appropriate health-related decisions. Therefore, it is important to develop strategies aimed at increasing health literacy levels, especially focused on underperforming students. It is also necessary that studies be done on the factors affecting the health literacy of elementary-school students.

Keyword

Health literacy; Students

MeSH Terms

Comprehension
Gyeongsangnam-do
Health Literacy*
Humans
Linguistics
Snacks
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