In the last few years, several studies have shown that inadequate health literacy levels can have significant implications in health outcomes, in the use of health care services and, consequently, in health costs. The concept of health literacy has changed from a purely cognitive definition to a definition that includes the personal and social components of the individual, assuming the ability to make informed decisions in their everyday life. This analytical cross‐sectional study aimed to translate and validate the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS‐EU) to the Portuguese population. The HLS‐EU‐PT has been applied throughout the country, including the autonomous regions, through research of an academic network. Data collection was conducted by personal interview. The final sample was composed of 1004 individuals aged ≥ 16 years. This study provided the assessment tool of literacy level for health in Portugal, so important in health management. The HLS‐EU‐PT is an adequate instrument to measure the health literacy levels of Portuguese population and shows comparable psychometric properties to versions used in the other countries. In Portugal, 61% of the surveyed population has general health literacy level problematic or inadequate, reaching the average of the nine countries in 49.2%. Concerning the Healthcare dimension, only 44.2% have a sufficient or excellent level of health literacy. In terms of disease prevention, about 45% of respondents reveal a sufficient or excellent level of health literacy, and the average stands at 54.5%. In Health Promotion dimension about 60.2% of the auscultated population has an health literacy level problematic or inappropriate, and the average stands at 52.1%. Therefore, it is fundamental and urgent to design and implement a National Strategy for Health Literacy.
|Translated title of the contribution||Health Literacy, from data to action: Translation, validation and application of the European Health Literacy Survey in Portugal|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Revista Portuguesa de Saúde Pública|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2016|
- Health Literacy
- Validation studies