Identifying health literacy in Kansas using the behavioral risk factor surveillance system

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Chesser, Amy K.
Reyes, Jared
Woods, Nikki Keene
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Chronic conditions , Health literacy , Population-based assessment
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Chesser, A. K., Reyes, J., & Woods, N. K. (2019). Identifying Health Literacy in Kansas Using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. International Quarterly of Community Health Education

Health literacy continues to be an important research topic as part of population-based assessments for overall health issues. The objective of this continuation study was to examine the health literacy rates and health outcomes as measured by the Kansas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. A cross-sectional research design was used. Health literacy data were extracted from the state-specific module of the BRFSS telephone survey. Demographic and health status variables were extracted from the core BRFSS dataset. The association between demographic and health status characteristics with health literacy was obtained using weighted samples in multivariable logistic regression models. As in the previous study, most respondents had moderate health literacy (61.1%), followed by high health literacy (31.4%) and low health literacy (7.5%). The demographic variables of interest included race, marital status, home ownership, insurance status, metropolitan status code, survey language, veteran status, education, employment, income, sex, and age. The health status variables included general health rating, presence of chronic conditions, and length of time since last check-up. Findings include individuals with low levels of health literacy were nearly 7 times as likely to be unsure of at least one health condition than those with high health literacy and demonstrate a broad gap in people’s ability to communicate accurate information to health-care providers. Results can inform future efforts to build programs that address health disparities issues including low health literacy to provide equitable health-care services. There is a continued need for support for the creation of health literate programs.

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International Quarterly of Community Health Education;v.39:no.4
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