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Article

Coronavirus-Related Health Literacy: A Cross-Sectional Study during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy

1
National Institute for the Analysis of Public Policy, Corso d’Italia 33, 00198 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Health Sciences, University of Florence, Viale GB Morgagni 48, 50134 Florence, Italy
3
Department of Cardiovascular, Endocrine-Metabolic Diseases and Aging, Italian National Institute of Health, Via Giano della Bella 34, 00162 Rome, Italy
4
Competence Centre for Health Promotion and Health System, Austrian National Public Health Institute, Stubenring 6, A-1010 Vienna, Austria
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Department of Life Sciences and Public Health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Francesco Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy
6
Ministry of Health, Viale Giorgio Ribotta, 5, 00144 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 3807; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073807
Received: 24 February 2022 / Revised: 18 March 2022 / Accepted: 20 March 2022 / Published: 23 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Literacy in the Mediterranean Countries)
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an overabundance of valid and invalid information to spread rapidly via traditional media as well as by internet and digital communication. Health literacy (HL) is the ability to access, understand, appraise, and apply health information, making it fundamental for finding, interpreting, and correctly using COVID-19 information. A cross-sectional study of a sample of 3500 participants representative of the Italian adult population aged 18+ years was conducted in Italy in 2021. A validated HL questionnaire was employed, including sections on coronavirus-related HL, general HL, sociodemographic characteristics, risk factors, and respondents’ lifestyle. Of our sample, 49.3% had “excellent” levels of coronavirus-related HL and 50.7% had “sufficient” (20.7%) or “limited” (30.0%) levels. Although the overall HL-COVID level was high, many participants reported difficulties dealing with COVID-19 information; in particular, participants older than 65 years, with a low education level, living in southern regions of Italy, and with high financial deprivation. Targeted public information campaigns and the promotion of HL are required for better navigation of health information environments. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to improve HL and to prepare the general population for future emergency and non-emergency situations, confirming that HL can be considered a social vaccine. View Full-Text
Keywords: health literacy; COVID-19; Italy; risk perception; knowledge; attitudes and practices; risk factors health literacy; COVID-19; Italy; risk perception; knowledge; attitudes and practices; risk factors
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rosano, A.; Lorini, C.; Unim, B.; Griebler, R.; Cadeddu, C.; Regazzi, L.; Galeone, D.; Palmieri, L. Coronavirus-Related Health Literacy: A Cross-Sectional Study during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 3807. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073807

AMA Style

Rosano A, Lorini C, Unim B, Griebler R, Cadeddu C, Regazzi L, Galeone D, Palmieri L. Coronavirus-Related Health Literacy: A Cross-Sectional Study during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(7):3807. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073807

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rosano, Aldo, Chiara Lorini, Brigid Unim, Robert Griebler, Chiara Cadeddu, Luca Regazzi, Daniela Galeone, and Luigi Palmieri. 2022. "Coronavirus-Related Health Literacy: A Cross-Sectional Study during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 7: 3807. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073807

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