Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Malaysian Health Literacy: Scorecard Performance from a National Survey

Version 1 : Received: 24 March 2021 / Approved: 25 March 2021 / Online: 25 March 2021 (15:24:34 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Jaafar, N.; Perialathan, K.; Krishnan, M.; Juatan, N.; Ahmad, M.; Mien, T.Y.S.; Salleh, K.Z.; Isa, A.; Mohamed, S.S.; Hanit, N.H.A.; Hasani, W.S.R.; Mohamad, E.M.W.; Johari, M.Z. Malaysian Health Literacy: Scorecard Performance from a National Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5813. Jaafar, N.; Perialathan, K.; Krishnan, M.; Juatan, N.; Ahmad, M.; Mien, T.Y.S.; Salleh, K.Z.; Isa, A.; Mohamed, S.S.; Hanit, N.H.A.; Hasani, W.S.R.; Mohamad, E.M.W.; Johari, M.Z. Malaysian Health Literacy: Scorecard Performance from a National Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5813.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5813
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18115813

Abstract

Health literacy is an indicator of a society’s ability to make better health judgement for themselves and the people around them. This study investigates the prevalence of health literacy among Malaysian adults and provides an overall picture of the current health literacy state of the society. The study also highlights socio-demographics markers of communities with limited health literacy which may warrant future intervention. A population based self-administered survey using the Health Literacy Survey Malaysian Questionnaire18 (HLS-M-Q18) instrument was conducted as part of the National Health Morbidity Survey 2019 in Malaysia. The nationwide survey utilized two-staged stratified random sampling method. A sample of 9478 individuals aged 18 and above participated in the study. The health literacy score was divided into three levels; limited, sufficient and excellent. Findings showed that majority Malaysian population has sufficient health literacy level, albeit leaning towards the lower end of the category with an average score of 35.5. The limited health literacy groups are associated with respondents with older age, lower education level and lower household income. Overall health literacy state for Malaysia is categorized at a lower sufficient level. Health literacy improvements should focus on communities with limited health literacy level.

Keywords

health literacy; healthcare; disease prevention; health promotion.

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