273144 Health literacy, self-efficacy, health locus of control, and health-related behaviors in Taiwan

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Tzu-I Tsai, PhD , Department of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
Shoou-Yih Daniel Lee, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Yi-Wen Tsai, PhD , Institute of Health and Welfare Policy, National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
Health literacy, self-efficacy, and health locus of control have been suggested as cognitive and psychosocial predictors of health behaviors. However, little empirical evidence has demonstrated the linkages. The purpose of this study is to examine the associations among health literacy, self-efficacy, and health locus of control, and whether or not those factors are associated with health-related behaviors. Data for this study were obtained from a national survey conducted by the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) in Taiwan in 2008-2009. A total of 3526 adults completed face-to-face interviews, for a response rate of 62.06%. The Mandarin Health Literacy Scale (MHLS) was used to measure the level of health literacy. Health-related behaviors measures included having regular physical check-up, receiving flu vaccination, monitoring physical status, and checking food labels. Overall, 28% subjects had poor health literacy. Individuals with lower health literacy were more likely to hold external locus of control beliefs and had lower self-efficacy. Health literacy was independently associated with receiving flu vaccination and checking food labels. External locus of control had a positive association with physical check-up and negatively associations with monitoring physical status and checking food labels. Self-efficacy was the most prominent predictor of health-related behaviors as it was significantly related to all four behavioral measures. The study demonstrates positive associations between health literacy, self-efficacy, and internal locus of control. Of these factors, self-efficacy displays the most consistent relationship with health behaviors, suggesting that it is the perceived, rather than actual, level of individual capability that matters more in shaping health behaviors.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Assess health literacy and its link to self-efficacy and health locus of control. Demonstrate the relationships of health literacy, self-efficacy, and health locus of control with health-related behaviors.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-principal of National Health Research Institute (NHRI, Taiwan) funded grants focusing on the health literacy study in Taiwan. Among my scientific interests has been the development of measurement scale to assess health literacy and evaluate the association between health literacy and health outcomes among Taiwanese.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.