Research has shown associations between health literacy and health behaviors related to negative pregnancy outcomes. However, research to develop effective interventions to improve health literacy and related pregnancy health behaviors has been hindered by a lack of valid instruments for the comprehensive measure of health literacy. Previous instruments designed to measure health literacy assess a narrow scope of constructs and do not evaluate many of the functional skills that are central components of current definitions and conceptualizations of health literacy. A new instrument, the Health Literacy Skills Instrument (HLSI) has demonstrated in a national sample that it is a reliable and more comprehensive measure of health literacy than previous measures used in research. The present study assessed the validity of the short form version of the HLSI (HLSI-SF) in a diverse sample of 111 pregnant women. Validity was supported by significantly higher HLSI-SF scores in women with higher education levels. Further validity was supported by correlations of HLSI-SF scores with perceived difficulty with health literacy skills and with Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA) scores. These results establish the HLSI-SF as valid and appropriate for use in future research with pregnant women. Additionally, the relationships between and among health literacy and pregnancy risk factors were explored, including folic acid intake, pregnancy intention, and early prenatal care. Results indicated that pregnancy intention is significantly associated with health literacy, as measured by the HLSI-SF, in the pregnant women in the sample.
|Advisor:||Cornell, Carol E.|
|Commitee:||Mengel, Mark, Rhoads, Sarah J., Stewart, Katharine, Whiteside-Mansell, Leanne, Williams, D. Keith|
|School:||University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences|
|Department:||Health Promotion and Prevention Research|
|School Location:||United States -- Arkansas|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Medicine, Public health, Health education|
|Keywords:||Folic acid, Health literacy, Numeracy, Pregnancy, Pregnancy intention, Prenatal care|
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