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Inadequate health literacy has been identified as a barrier to the utilization of health-care services, including cancer screening. This study examined predictors of health literacy among 106 older Chinese immigrant women to Canada and how colon cancer information presented in their first versus second language affected health literacy skill. Only 38.7% of the women had adequate health literacy based on Short Test of Functional Health Literacy for Adults, and 54.3% had adequate comprehension of the colon cancer information. Comprehension of the cancer information was significantly lower among women who received the information in English compared with those who received the information in Chinese. Age, acculturation, self-reported proficiency reading English, and education were significant predictors of health literacy but varied depending on the measure of health literacy used and language of the information. Presentation of cancer prevention information in one's first rather than second language improves health literacy but does not eliminate comprehension difficulties for older ESL Chinese immigrants.
Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, N2L 3G1.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education
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Degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.
Enumerations of populations usually recording identities of all persons in every place of residence with age or date of birth, sex, occupation, national origin, language, marital status, income, relation to head of household, information on the dwelling place, education, literacy, health-related data (e.g., permanent disability), etc. The census or "numbering of the people" is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. Among the Romans, censuses were intimately connected with the enumeration of troops before and after battle and probably a military necessity. (From Last, A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 3d ed; Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine, 4th ed, p66, p119)
Agreements between two or more parties, especially those that are written and enforceable by law (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed). It is sometimes used to characterize the nature of the professional-patient relationship.
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The philosophical view that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them. (from American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed)
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