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Article

The Relationship between Health Literacy, Quality of Life, and Subjective Health: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study in a Rural Region in Germany

1
Institute of Occupational and Social Medicine and Health Services Research, University Hospital Tübingen, Wilhelmstraße 27, 72074 Tübingen, Germany
2
OptiMedis AG, Burchardstraße 17, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
3
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, London WC1E 7HT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1683; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051683
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2020 / Accepted: 29 February 2020 / Published: 5 March 2020
Low health literacy is associated with poorer health and quality of life. An open question is whether a regional integrated healthcare system whose management strives to enable and empower its members with regard to health issues can contribute to a higher level of health literacy in the population. Against this background, in a cross-sectional study we surveyed a random selection of members of an integrated healthcare system in southwestern Germany (n = 180). The standardized questionnaire included, inter alia, questions on health literacy and subjective health. In this sample we wanted to (1) determine the proportion of respondents with sufficient health literacy and (2) investigate whether the association between health literacy and quality of life and subjective health status—as found in other studies—can be replicated. In our sample a health literacy score could be calculated in 126 subjects (70%). A sufficient level of health literacy was detected in 62% of respondents. Confirming the findings of a meta-analysis based on international studies, we found moderate correlations between health literacy and quality of life (r = 0.41) and health literacy and subjective health status (r = 0.40); these correlations hardly decreased when we controlled for various sociodemographic characteristics. As the proportion of respondents with sufficient health literacy was higher in our sample than in comparable studies conducted in Germany, we may hypothesize that an integrated healthcare system like the one we surveyed could have contributed to increased health literacy in the population. Thus, it could be worthwhile to investigate this research question with a more rigorous study design and a larger sample. View Full-Text
Keywords: health literacy; HLS-EU-Q16; quality of life; health status; integrated healthcare systems health literacy; HLS-EU-Q16; quality of life; health status; integrated healthcare systems
MDPI and ACS Style

Ehmann, A.T.; Groene, O.; Rieger, M.A.; Siegel, A. The Relationship between Health Literacy, Quality of Life, and Subjective Health: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study in a Rural Region in Germany. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1683. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051683

AMA Style

Ehmann AT, Groene O, Rieger MA, Siegel A. The Relationship between Health Literacy, Quality of Life, and Subjective Health: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study in a Rural Region in Germany. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(5):1683. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051683

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ehmann, Anna T., Oliver Groene, Monika A. Rieger, and Achim Siegel. 2020. "The Relationship between Health Literacy, Quality of Life, and Subjective Health: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study in a Rural Region in Germany" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 5: 1683. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051683

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