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Open AccessArticle

The Relationship between Functional Health Literacy, Self-Rated Health, and Social Support between Younger and Older Adults in Ghana

School of Graduate Studies; Asia Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies; Centre for Social Policy & Social Change, Lingnan University, Hong Kong (SAR)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3188; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173188
Received: 12 June 2019 / Revised: 22 August 2019 / Accepted: 26 August 2019 / Published: 31 August 2019
It is well established that health literacy positively affects health outcomes, and social support influences this association. What remains unclear is which aspect of social support (instrumental, informational, and emotional support) is responsible for this effect and whether the influence differs from one population group to another. This study addresses these lacunae. It examines the impact each type of support makes on the relation between functional health literacy (FHL) and self-rated health status among younger and older adults in Ghana. Data were pooled from two cross-sectional surveys, together comprising 521 participants in the Ashanti Region. The results indicated that young adults were more likely to possess sufficient FHL and perceive their health more positively than older adults. While FHL was positively associated with health status, the relation was stronger when young adults received a high level of emotional support. Among older persons, informational support substantially moderated the association between FHL and health status. Thus, social support modifies the relations between FHL and health status among younger and older adults in different ways and to different degrees. Therefore, interventions to improve FHL and health amongst younger and older adults should pay due regard to relevant aspects of social support. View Full-Text
Keywords: health literacy; social support; social networks; health status; young and emerging adults; older persons; Ghana health literacy; social support; social networks; health status; young and emerging adults; older persons; Ghana
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Amoah, P.A. The Relationship between Functional Health Literacy, Self-Rated Health, and Social Support between Younger and Older Adults in Ghana. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3188.

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