HEALTH LITERACY AMONG THAI ELDERLY POPULATION WITH TYPE-2 DIABETES LIVING IN RURAL AREA OF THAILAND
Keywords:Health literacy, Diabetes Mellitus, Elderly population
Background: According to the World Health Organization, health literacy represents the cognitive and social skills, which determine the motivation and ability of individuals to gain access to, understand and use information in ways that promote and maintain good health with positive impact on health outcome.
Objective: This study aimed to describe the situation of health literacy among Thai elders with type-2 diabetes in a rural Thai community.
Methods: We conducted this mix-method study including quantitative and qualitative research approach was used through validated and reliable questionnaire adapted from Ishikawa. We did purposive sampling of 277 participants for quantitative, and conducted 12 in-depth interviews. Study was ethically approved from Chulalongkorn University Thailand.
Results: The average age of the participants was 68.62 years. The majority of them had income less than 5,001 Bath, and highest education level at elementary school. Most of them had been diagnosed with DM more than one year (ranged 1-56 years, average 10.05 years). The respondents had fair overall health literacy. Upon consideration as an aspect basis, the mean score of functional health literacy was 3.07 from 4.00, the interactive health literacy was 2.28, and the critical health literacy was 2.41. From the perspective of patients and caregivers, most patients received health-related information from public health officials. They do not like to talk to other diabetes patients about their diabetes. Most patients wanted to have someone who was willing to listen to their problem and help them solve it.
Conclusion: Study has concluded that the health literacy among Thai population suffering with diabetes was very poor and not found as per standards that need to be intervened.