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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Health Literacy is Associated with Health Behaviors in Students from Vocational Education and Training Schools: A Danish Population-Based Survey

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Health literacy has been identified as an important and changeable intermediary determinant of health equity. Vocational education and training (VET) schools are a relevant setting for health behavior interventions seeking to diminish health inequities because many VET students come from low socio-economic status backgrounds. This study examines VET students' health literacy and its association with health behavior based on a cross-sectional survey among 6119 students from 58 VET schools in Denmark in 2019. Two scales from the Health Literacy Questionnaire was used to assess domains of health literacy. Data were analyzed using Anova and logistic regression. The study population consisted of 43.4% female, and mean age was 24.2 years (range 15.8-64.0). The health literacy domain 'Actively managing my health' mean was 2.51, SD 0.66, and 'Appraisal of health information' mean was 2.37, SD 0.65. For both domains, being female, older age, attending the VET educational program Care-health-pedagogy, and higher self-rated health were associated with higher scale scores. In the adjusted analyses, lower scale scores were associated with less frequent breakfast, daily smoking, high-risk alcohol behavior and moderate-to-low physical activity. Our results show that low health literacy is associated with unhealthy behaviors in this population. Our results support and inform health literacy research and practice in educational institutions and services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number671
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number2
ISSN1661-7827
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2020

ID: 59247962