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J Health Commun. 2009 Jan-Feb;14(1):43-55. doi: 10.1080/10810730802592247.

Relationships among health literacy, knowledge about hormone therapy, self-efficacy, and decision-making among postmenopausal health.

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Department of Health Education, Borough of Manhattan Community College, The City University of New York, New York, New York 10007, USA.


Little is known about how health literacy affects women's decisions about their menopausal health care. This exploratory study provides a crucial first step in gaining an understanding of the relationship between health literacy and potential factors such as knowledge, self-efficacy, and intent to take hormone therapy among postmenopausal women. Data were collected for 106 participants, age range 45-65, who were attending a family clinic. Participants completed a questionnaire that included questions on hormone therapy knowledge, self-efficacy, behavioral intent concerning hormone therapy, and health literacy as well as demographic data. Inferential statistical tests were used to assess the relationships among health literacy, knowledge, self-efficacy, and behavioral intent concerning hormone therapy. Pearson correlations indicated a positive relationship between both health literacy and knowledge about hormone therapy (r = .64; p </= .01) and between health literacy and self-efficacy regarding hormone therapy (r = .69; p </= .01). Only two variables, health literacy and self-efficacy, achieved sufficient strength to enter the stepwise regression. Sixty-six percent of the variance for behavioral intent concerning hormone therapy was accounted for by decision self-efficacy, and 9% was accounted for by health literacy (R(2) = .75; p < .05). Further research to better understand the relationship between health literacy and self-efficacy and the impact of these factors on actual health outcomes and decision making is likely to have important communication implications for both patients and their providers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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