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Associations of health literacy with missed free influenza immunization in people with chronic diseases

Health Promot Int. 2023 Feb 1;38(1):daac180. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daac180.


There is a gap in understanding specific features of health literacy that might be associated with adherence to influenza immunization. The aim of this study was to examine the association of health literacy with avoidance of influenza immunization and beliefs about the influenza vaccine among people with chronic diseases. Selection of study participants was based on a case-control study design in a population of people with chronic illnesses living in the Foča region (Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and who were entitled to receive a free influenza shot in season 2017/2018. The cases represented all non-vaccinated people (a total of 146) and the controls were vaccinated people (a total of 149) matched according to town of residence. Participants were interviewed in person from April to December 2018 using a socio-demographic questionnaire, Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) and Health Belief Model Applied to Influenza (HBMAI). Better score on ‘Feeling understood and supported by healthcare providers’, ‘Social support for health’ and ‘Ability to actively engage with healthcare providers’ was associated with more perceived benefits of influenza immunization in men, but not in women. Perceiving more Barriers to influenza immunization was associated with lower scores on ‘Feeling understood and supported by healthcare providers’, ‘Have sufficient information to manage health’, ‘Social support for health’ and ‘Ability to actively engage with healthcare providers’ in both men and women. Health literacy may be associated with the perception of susceptibility to influenza, benefits and barriers to influenza immunization and motivations to receive influenza vaccine.

PMID:36617290 | DOI:10.1093/heapro/daac180

By Nevin Manimala

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