Correlates of Health Literacy among Filipinos aged 50-70 years old Belonging to Low-Income Families in a Selected Community

  • Hygeia Grace C. Agosto
  • Marla Vina A. Briones
  • Maylin C. Palatino
Keywords: health literacy, health education, health behavior, correlates, low income, poverty


Objective. A number of studies worldwide have shown that health literacy is vital in the improvement of health status of individuals as well as in the effective implementation of health programs. In the Philippines, however, data regarding the level of health literacy among Filipino adults are yet to be gathered. This study then aimed to describe the health literacy level and to determine the correlates of health literacy among Filipino adults aged 50 to 70 years old belonging to the lower socioeconomic class in a selected community.

Methods. An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted, utilizing data from the study of Briones, M. et. al in 2015, among selected Filipino adults in a barangay in Pasig City.

Results. Ninety-four percent of the study participants had problematic/inadequate health literacy level. The factors found to be statistically associated with having problematic / inadequate health literacy were having at most high school level education, and not being able to visit a medical doctor in the past 12 months. Nonetheless, being self-employed made an individual less likely to have a problematic/inadequate health literacy.

Conclusions. There was a high proportion of individuals who had problematic/inadequate health literacy among 50 to 70 years old in the study area. Socio-economic characteristics such as educational attainment and healthcare access were shown to be associated with an individual’s level of health literacy. Despite the extensive health information available to the public, the level of health literacy still remained to be poor. This indicates that there is a need to evaluate if said information are easily accessed, understood, appraised and applied by individuals to make sound health decisions.