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Relationship of health literacy with utilization of health-care services in a general Japanese population.


ABSTRACT: Many studies have explored the association between health literacy and health-care utilization; however, the majority assessed functional health literacy in terms of basic skills. Japan's health-care and medical examination system in workplaces is different from that of other major countries. This study examined the relationship of health literacy with health-care use (emergency visit, hospitalization, dental checkup, and health checkup or cancer screening); it focused on differences by occupation and health-care service utilization among general Japanese using the communicative and critical health literacy scale. We conducted a cross-sectional observational study of 1002 Japanese residents. Through a questionnaire, we investigated socioeconomic status, health status, health-care use, and health literacy. Among all participants and non-workers, logistic regression analyses revealed that health literacy was significantly associated with health checkup or cancer screening after adjusting for sex, age, marital status, education, and having a disease or disorder (adjusted odds ratio [OR]?=?1.431, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.131-1.810; adjusted OR?=?1.614, 95% CI, 1.114-2.339, respectively). Among workers, we observed no significant association between health literacy and health-care utilization. These results indicate that health literacy is closely related to use of preventive health-care. Japan's health-care system in workplaces may promote use of preventive health-care services regardless of health literacy, whereas improving health literacy may be more critical among non-workers.

SUBMITTER: Goto E 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6377410 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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