Health literacy (HL) is considered an important prerequisite for informed, self-determined health decisions. HL research among older migrants is scarce, but especially important, as older people face great challenges regarding management of chronic illnesses and, therefore, are in need of adequate healthcare. Therefore, this paper aims to report HL in the domain of healthcare (HL-HC) among older migrants in Germany stratified by different countries of origin.
Data were collected by a quota sample in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Computer-assisted personal face-to-face interviews were conducted in German, Russian and Turkish. For this analysis, a subsample of 192 first-generation migrants aged 65–80 years from Turkey, Poland, Greece or Italy was drawn from the main sample (n = 1,000). HL-HC was assessed using a sub-index of health literacy survey European questionnaire 47. Data analyses comprised descriptive statistics, bivariate and multivariate analyses.
Overall, 68.6% of the older migrants have limited HL-HC, and mean HL-HC scores vary significantly among different countries of origin. There is great variation in reported difficulties for the single HL-HC tasks by migrant groups. In multiple regressions, country of origin, not German as main language, low functional HL and low social status are significantly associated with lower HL-HC.
Interventions should be aimed at smaller target groups and should consider language issues and possible differences related to countries of origin into account. Both individual skills and system-related aspects need to be addressed.
This paper presents first data on HL-HC among older migrants in Germany and its determinants, stratified by different countries of origin.
Funding: This research was funded by Landeszentrum für Gesundheit Nordrhein-Westfalen (LZG.NRW).
Berens, E.-M., Ganahl, K., Vogt, D. and Schaeffer, D. (2021), "Health literacy in the domain of healthcare among older migrants in Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia). Findings from a cross-sectional survey", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 62-74. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-09-2019-0078
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