Building a Health Literacy Indicator from Angola Demographic and Health Survey in 2015/2016

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Health literacy is a determinant factor for population health. It is important both for the prevention of health problems and the better management of those problems and unexpected situ-ations that happen. Low health literacy has been consistently associated with poor health outcomes. This study aimed to develop a health literacy indicator for Angola and to analyze pertinent demographic characteristics related to it. Data were obtained from the first Angola Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2015/16; we included 10 questions related to the American National Academy of Medicine definition of health literacy. Using factor analysis, we extracted one i indicator corresponding to four dimensions of health literacy. The indicator was dichotomized, and we used Logistic Regression to estimate factors associated with health literacy level: we obtained data from 19,785 adolescents and adults, aged 15–49 years. The internal consistency of the i indicator was reliable (Cronbach’s α = 0.83). Adjusting for other variables, males with complete secondary education or above and living in urban areas were more likely to have a high level of health literacy. There were substantial differences between the 18 regions. This is the first study evaluating health literacy in Angola using the American National Academy of Medicine definition and a Demographic and Health survey. Our study shows unfavorable results for women, individuals living in rural areas and those less educated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2882
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Angola
  • Assessment tool
  • Health literacy
  • Inequalities


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