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Open AccessArticle

Evaluating Health Literacy among Adolescent and Young Adult Pregnant Women from a Low-Income Area of Northeast Brazil

1
Postgraduate Program in Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences of Trairi, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Santa Cruz, Rio Grande do Norte CEP 59200-000, Brazil
2
Office of Public Health Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822-2319, USA
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen’s University, Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, ON K7L 2V7, Canada
4
Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, ON K7L 2V7, Canada
5
Postgraduate Programme in Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul CEP 96055-630, Brazil
6
Centre for Global Child Health, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON M5G 0A4, Canada
7
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dalla Lana, School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5G 0A4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8806; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238806
Received: 16 October 2020 / Revised: 23 November 2020 / Accepted: 24 November 2020 / Published: 27 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Women's Health)
Adequate health literacy is important for strong health outcomes during pregnancy, particularly among mothers with high risk of adverse outcomes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Understanding the health literacy of young pregnant women in low-income settings could support strategies to reduce adverse outcomes in this population. This exploratory study assessed the health literacy of young pregnant adolescents and young adults from a rural area in Northeast Brazil and associated factors such as socioeconomic conditions, adequacy of prenatal care, and social support from family and friends. In this cross-sectional study, 41 pregnant adolescents (13–18 years) and 45 pregnant adults (23–28 years) from the Rio Grande do Norte state, Brazil, were assessed regarding health literacy through the Short Assessment of Health Literacy for Portuguese-Speaking Adults (SAHLPA, score from 0–18, inadequate if <15). Income sufficiency, self-perceived school performance, compliance with recommendations for adequate prenatal care, and social support were also assessed. A linear regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the variables associated with the SAHLPA score. Ninety-five percent of the adolescents and 53.3% of the adults (p < 0.001) presented inadequate health literacy. Adolescent age (β − 3.5, p < 0.001), poorer self-perceived school performance (β − 2.8, p < 0.001), and insufficient income for basic needs (β − 2.8, p = 0.014) were associated with worse SAHLPA scores. Adolescent mothers have higher rates of inadequate health literacy in this population. Policies are needed to improve access to health information for young populations from rural low-income areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: health literacy; adolescent pregnancy; health disparities; social determinants of health health literacy; adolescent pregnancy; health disparities; social determinants of health
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MDPI and ACS Style

França, A.S.; Pirkle, C.M.; Sentell, T.; Velez, M.P.; Domingues, M.R.; Bassani, D.G.; Câmara, S.M.A. Evaluating Health Literacy among Adolescent and Young Adult Pregnant Women from a Low-Income Area of Northeast Brazil. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8806. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238806

AMA Style

França AS, Pirkle CM, Sentell T, Velez MP, Domingues MR, Bassani DG, Câmara SMA. Evaluating Health Literacy among Adolescent and Young Adult Pregnant Women from a Low-Income Area of Northeast Brazil. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):8806. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238806

Chicago/Turabian Style

França, Allen S.; Pirkle, Catherine M.; Sentell, Tetine; Velez, Maria P.; Domingues, Marlos R.; Bassani, Diego G.; Câmara, Saionara M.A. 2020. "Evaluating Health Literacy among Adolescent and Young Adult Pregnant Women from a Low-Income Area of Northeast Brazil" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 23: 8806. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238806

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