Health literacy in mothers: a literature review of measures and related factors

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  • 母親のヘルスリテラシーを測定している尺度と関連要因に関する文献検討

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<p>Abstract Objective: In recent years, health literacy – which empowers people to make better health decisions through the reception, understanding, evaluation, and utilization of information about health and medicine – is garnering attention as a driver of health. This study aimed to investigate the need for measures that assess health literacy regarding child rearing in mothers and to clarify the characteristics of current health literacy measures in Japan and abroad, as well as factors related to health literacy.</p><p>Method: In October 2018, we conducted a search for studies focused on health literacy in mothers published between 1990 to 2018 using Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms in two databases, PubMed and Igaku Chuo Zasshi.</p><p>Results: The search returned 16 studies in English. Most (n=14) were from the United States and none were conducted on Japanese subjects. The measures used in these studies were not specifically developed for mothers, but functional literacy measures widely used on adults to assess basic literacy. With regards to factors related to health literacy in mothers, the studies supported results from previous work (e.g. mother’s age, education, socioeconomical status) as well as identified characteristic factors related to child health (e.g. children’s sleep conditions, symptoms and severity of disease).</p><p>Discussion: The results suggested the necessity to improve health literacy in mothers. However, the measures used to examine health literacy in mothers were not originally designed for that purpose; instead, they were versatile measures applicable for a wide range of subjects. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a health literacy measurement scale with reliability and adequacy for Japanese mothers with a certain level of social security and high literacy rate. In addition to distributing information on health and medicine, developing measures for grasping health literacy appropriately regarding child rearing in mothers – particularly with emphasis on the importance of the connection with the child – is a crucial area of future work.</p>


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