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Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 54; doi:10.3390/educsci7020054

Health Literacy amongst Health Professional University Students: A Study Using the Health Literacy Questionnaire

1
School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
2
School of Nursing, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
3
School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong 3125, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nicky Hudson
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Professional Education: Responding to Population Health Needs)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [211 KB, uploaded 26 May 2017]

Abstract

Background: This study aimed to assess and compare health literacy levels in a range of university-based health students. Methods: A survey containing the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) was administered to students enrolled in university-based medical, allied health or nursing degree programs. The HLQ scores and scale scores were compared across student groups. Results: In total, 374 students (24% response rate) with a median age of 25 years (range: 17–61 years), returned completed surveys. Three students who did not identify their degree programs were excluded from the final analysis which included 371 respondents; 242 graduate-entry medical students (65%), 67 allied health students (18%) and 62 nursing students (17%). Overall, the medical students had the highest score for seven of the nine HLQ scales; while the nursing students had the lowest score for all of the nine HLQ scales. Conclusion: These results show that health literacy profiles are different across student groups. In order to provide excellent patient-centred care, and to successfully look after their own health, a high level of health literacy is required by future health professionals. Health literacy training modules, tailored according to the different needs of the student groups, should therefore be included in university-based health professional degree programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: health professional education; health literacy; health literacy questionnaire; nursing; medicine; allied health health professional education; health literacy; health literacy questionnaire; nursing; medicine; allied health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mullan, J.; Burns, P.; Weston, K.; McLennan, P.; Rich, W.; Crowther, S.; Mansfield, K.; Dixon, R.; Moselen, E.; Osborne, R.H. Health Literacy amongst Health Professional University Students: A Study Using the Health Literacy Questionnaire. Educ. Sci. 2017, 7, 54.

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