[Health literacy and health status of Korean-Chinese elderly people living in Yanbian, China]

Chun Yu Li, Ogcheol Lee, Gi Soo Shin, Xian Wen Li
Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing 2009, 39 (3): 386-92

PURPOSE: This descriptive study was done to identify the relationship between health literacy and health status and to provide basic data for developing nursing interventions for Korean-Chinese elders living in Yanbian, China.

METHODS: For data collection, intentional sampling of 300 elders was used. The questionnaire was composed of 5 items based on "Ministry of Health, the People's Republic of China (2008)" to measure health literacy, 33 health status items from the "Korean Health Status Measure for Elderly People" developed by Shin (2002), revised for use in China, and 9 general characteristics. Data were analyzed using SPSS Win 13.0 program.

RESULTS: Total level of health literacy was relatively high (68.7%). Elders had high scores for taking medicines according to doctor's instruction, but lower ones for full comprehension through communication with doctors. Health status was high for emotional, physical, and social function in that order. There were significant differences between general characteristics and health status for gender, age, marital status, education, family, smoking, and alcohol consumption in that order. Results of multiple regression analysis for factors influencing health status showed that self-report health level was the most influential, followed by health literacy, age, gender.

CONCLUSION: Health literacy is the main factor affecting health promotion among minority elders indicating a need to develop health promotion programs for elders who have low health literacy.


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