Factors Related to Health Literacy in Diabetes Mellitus among Health Volunteers in Bangkok
Keywords:health literacy, health volunteers, diabetes mellitus, BANGKOK METROPOLITAN
Introduction: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is the second most common disease among Bangkokians and the mortality rate is likely to increase. Public health volunteers are the main mechanism for strengthening government personnel to tackle with diabetes problems in the community. Hence, DM patients can take care of themselves and prevent complications.
Research objectives: This study aimed to examine health literacy regarding DM , factors related to, and factors influencing health literacy regarding DM among public health volunteers in Bangkok.
Research methodology: This study employed a descriptive cross-sectional design using the ecological model as the conceptual framework. The studied factors consisted of personal factors, interpersonal process factors, institutional factors, and community factors. A multistage random sampling technique was used to recruit 287 participants in this study. The inclusion criteria included male and female public health volunteers in Bangkok who were: (a) 18 years of age and older, (b) having at least one year of work experience, and (c) training on knowledge about DM from public health officials. Data were collected using questionnaires to interview. Validity of the questionnaires were .80 and above. Cronbach,s alpha coefficients of the questionnaires were .70 and higher. Data were analyzed using Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation. Predictive power was tested using multivariable linear regression analyses. Results: Findings showed that most public health volunteers had sufficient health literacy regarding DM (56.1%). Personal factors (education, income, health status, and experience in caring for patients with DM), interpersonal factors (officials education methods, exchange of news and information with public health volunteer colleagues), institutional factors (media/equipment support from institutions), and community factors (community roles) were statistically significantly associated with health literacy regarding DM (p < .05). Results of multivariable linear regression analyses revealed that personal factors (income), interpersonal factors (exchange of news and information with public health volunteer colleagues), institutional factors (media/equipment support from institutions), and community factors (community roles) together statistically significantly explained 57.9% (R2= 0.579, F = 77.33, p <.05) of the variance in health literacy regarding DM.
Conclusion: Most of the public health volunteers in Bangkok had a fair level of health literacy regarding DM.
Implications: The results of this study suggest that health literacy regarding DM among public health volunteers should be improved. In addition to providing media and equipment easily to read and understand, the activities/interventions to enhance health literacy and focus on interactions to exchange knowledge and experience should be promoted. So, most of health volunteers might meet the criteria of health literacy regarding DM.
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