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Open AccessArticle

Health Literacy is Associated with Health Behaviors in Students from Vocational Education and Training Schools: A Danish Population-Based Survey

1
Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Health Promotion, Niels Steensens vej 6, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark
2
Department of Public Health, Bartholins Alle 2, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
3
School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020671
Received: 11 December 2019 / Revised: 17 January 2020 / Accepted: 19 January 2020 / Published: 20 January 2020
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: health literacy; health equity; health promotion; health behavior; low socio-economic status; vocational education and training; quality of life health literacy; health equity; health promotion; health behavior; low socio-economic status; vocational education and training; quality of life
MDPI and ACS Style

Klinker, C.D.; Aaby, A.; Ringgaard, L.W.; Hjort, A.V.; Hawkins, M.; Maindal, H.T. Health Literacy is Associated with Health Behaviors in Students from Vocational Education and Training Schools: A Danish Population-Based Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 671.

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