Relationship between the Use of Health Services and Health Literacy among University Students
Background: Health literacy (HL) can be defined as the set of cognitive and social skills that determine the ability of individuals to access, understand and use information to promote and maintain a good health status. Objective: To analyze the relationship between the level of HL and the use of health services by university students. Methodology: This is a descriptive- correlational, cross-sectional study with a quantitative approach, with a sample of 351 undergraduate students. IBM SPSS (25.0) was used for data collection, using descriptive and inferential statistics. The level of significance was 5%. Results: Most of the students were female (69.5%), belonged to the age group of 18-23 years (72.4%) and were attending an undergraduate degree (65.05%). The ages were between 18 and 54 years, the mean being 23.54±7.43 years old. The highest proportion of students used the NHS (59.3%), used a doctor in the last 12 months 1 to 2 times (51.6%) and other health professionals 1 to 2 times (44.2%). Most students had limited literacy (66.4%). The categories of Global HL differed among students who used other health professionals in the last 12 months (2: p < 0.010), with the proportion of students who used 6 or more times being higher in the category of Excellent HL. Conclusions: Students' Global LS is predominantly limited, in convergence with the results obtained by other studies. The HL is related to the frequency with which students resorted to other health professionals, and these professionals seem to be the ones who most increase the HL.
Keywords - Public Health; Health Literacy; University Students; Health services.