Korean J Fam Pract.  2021 Aug;11(4):280-287. 10.21215/kjfp.2021.11.4.280.

Health Literacy and Related Factors Depending on Socioeconomic Status

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Korea


In the past 50 years, Korea has achieved rapid economic development. Consequently, health and life expectancy have improved, but there are differences in health status according to socioeconomic condition. Health literacy is a major determinant of health status. Accordingly, this study sought to identify the factors related to the difference in health literacy between recipients of National Health Insurance and Medical care assistance.
This study was conducted form May 21 to July 30, 2020 among patients who visited the outpatient Department of Family Medicine at a hospital located in Seoul. A total of 73 patients were enrolled: 42 middle-aged (40 years or older) patients with Health Insurance and 31 patients with Medical Aid. The survey utilized the Korean Adult Health Literacy Scale.
The average age of Medical Aid patients was 70.00±13.57 years. Thirty-one (100%) of the Medical Aid patients had a period of education under 12 years, and 30 (96.8%) had an average monthly income less than 990,000 won. The majority of Medical Aid patients obtained health-related information through TV/radio (71%). The average health literacy score of Medical Aid patients was 11.10±4.497, which was significantly lower than that of National Health Insurance patients (16.21±7.035, P<0.001) Conclusion: It was confirmed that Medical Aid patients had lower health literacy than National Health Insurance patients. In the future, research and policy development are needed to improve health literacy in recipients of Medical Care Assistance


Health Literacy; Socioeconomic Status; National Health Insurance; Medical Care Assistanc
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