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ISRN Geriatrics
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 952908, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/952908
Research Article

Limited Functional Health Literacy, Health Information Sources, and Health Behavior among Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Japan

1Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, 35-2 Sakae-cho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-0015, Japan
2Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima City, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
3University of Human Arts and Sciences, 1288 Magome, Iwatsuki-ku, Saitama City, Saitama 339-8539, Japan
4National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, 35 Gengo, Morioka-machi, Obu City, Aichi 474-8511, Japan

Received 11 December 2013; Accepted 29 January 2014; Published 6 March 2014

Academic Editors: A. T. Isik, J. C. Nitz, and W. Qidwai

Copyright © 2014 Yuko Yoshida et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to explore how health information sources vary by functional health literacy levels and the relationship between health literacy and health behaviors among the old-old, community-dwelling adults. A cross-sectional study was used. The sample included 620 participants from a rural community in northern Japan. We used structured questionnaires to gather demographic information and assess health-related behaviors, information sources utilized, and functional health literacy. Functional health literacy scores were categorized into three groups, namely, low, middle, and high literacy. Individuals with limited health literacy were more likely to drink less alcohol, were less physically active, had less dietary variety, and had a low rate of medical check-ups. They were also less likely to use printed media, organization or medical procedure, electronic media, and accessed fewer health-related information sources. This study highlights the necessity of information tools that facilitate better access to information among older adults with limited health literacy.