Relationships of Health Literacy and Self-Care Behavior Among Elderly With Type 2 Diabetes
Background and purpose: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is one major problem in Thailand. Elderly having significant
difficulty reading and comprehending medical information or having limited health literacy tend to have worse health
outcome. The study aimed to describe health literacy and self-care behavior, and examine the association of health literacy
with self-care behavior in elderly with diabetes.
Method: 288elderly with type 2 diabetes aged 61 – 90 years old were purposively selected from 13 community hospitals in
Samut Songkram province, Thailand. Data were collected by using questionnaires. The 3-level Health Literacy Scale
developed by Ishikawa was used to assess health literacy level. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Pearson’s
Results It was revealed that the majority of the participants were average 69.88 years old. The majority of them had income less
than 5,001 ฿ (48.30 %)and the highest education level at elementary (75.70%). Most of them were diagnosed with DM more
than one year (ranged 1- 56 years, average 10.11 years). The participants had moderate health literacy (average = 2.59). They
had diabetes self-care behavior at a low level (score 32.04). There was statistically significant correlation (r = 0.138, p = 0.019)
between health literacy and self-care behavior of elderly with diabetes.
Conclusions: The results encourage efforts to monitor health literacy, health education and self-care behavior in Thai elderly
with diabetes and examine
Index Terms- Elderly, Health Literacy, Self-care behavior, Education