Protheroe, J, Whittle, R, Bartlam, B, Estacio, E, Clark, L and Kurth, J (2016) Health literacy, associated lifestyle and demographic factors in adult population of an English city: a cross-sectional survey. Health Expectations, 20 (1). pp. 112-119. ISSN 1369-7625

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Lower health literacy is a public health issue that follows a social gradient, potentially reinforcing existing health inequalities. However, levels of health literacy in particular populations can be unclear and are a key to identifying effective public health interventions. This research examined health literacy levels in Stoke‐on‐Trent, where 31.2% of the population live in areas classified amongst the 10% most deprived in England.

A cross‐sectional survey using the Newest Vital Sign examined associations with demographic factors, lifestyle behaviours, Internet use and self‐rated health. The sample (n = 1046) took account of variance in levels of health literacy by age, educational attainment and deprivation. Bivariate logistic regression and multivariate logistic regression were used to estimate associations with health literacy when adjusted for other demographic factors and lifestyle behaviours.

Nine hundred and seventy‐two respondents completed the health literacy measure (93%): 277 (28.5%) scored low, 228 (23.5%) scored marginal and 467 (48.0%) scored adequate. Associations with higher rates of limited health literacy included older age, lower educational level, lower income, perceived poor health and lack of access to the Internet.

Given the complexity of factors influencing health literacy interdisciplinary approaches across health and social care and the voluntary sector are essential in identifying and developing appropriate interventions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Wiley at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: health literacy, inequalities, public health
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2016 09:00
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2018 11:15

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