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Poor health and refraining from seeking healthcare are associated with comprehensive health literacy among refugees: a Swedish cross-sectional study

Author

Listed:
  • Josefin Wångdahl

    (Uppsala University)

  • Per Lytsy

    (Uppsala University)

  • Lena Mårtensson

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Ragnar Westerling

    (Uppsala University)

Abstract

Objectives The objectives of the study were to explore the distributions of comprehensive health literacy (CHL), general health, psychological well-being, and having refrained from seeking healthcare among refugees in Sweden. Further objectives were to examine associations between CHL and the above-mentioned factors. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 513 refugees speaking Arabic, Dari, and Somali. Participants in the civic orientation course in Sweden responded to a questionnaire. CHL was measured using the HLS-EU-Q16 questionnaire. Uni- and multivariate logistic regression was used to investigate potential associations. Results The majority of the respondents had limited CHL, and about four of ten had reported poor health and/or having refrained from seeking healthcare. Limited CHL was associated with having reported poor health and having refrained from seeking healthcare. Conclusions A considerable proportion of the refugees in Sweden have limited CHL, and report less than good health and impaired well-being, or that they have refrained from seeking healthcare. Furthermore, CHL is associated with the above-mentioned factors. Efforts are needed to promote refugees’ CHL, optimal health-seeking behavior, and health.

Suggested Citation

  • Josefin Wångdahl & Per Lytsy & Lena Mårtensson & Ragnar Westerling, 2018. "Poor health and refraining from seeking healthcare are associated with comprehensive health literacy among refugees: a Swedish cross-sectional study," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 63(3), pages 409-419, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ijphth:v:63:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00038-017-1074-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s00038-017-1074-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nutbeam, Don, 2008. "The evolving concept of health literacy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(12), pages 2072-2078, December.
    2. Palumbo, Rocco & Annarumma, Carmela & Adinolfi, Paola & Musella, Marco & Piscopo, Gabriella, 2016. "The Italian Health Literacy Project: Insights from the assessment of health literacy skills in Italy," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(9), pages 1087-1094.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuriy Nesterko & David Jäckle & Michael Friedrich & Laura Holzapfel & Heide Glaesmer, 2020. "Health care needs among recently arrived refugees in Germany: a cross-sectional, epidemiological study," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 65(6), pages 811-821, July.

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