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Motivation for a health-literate health care system—does socioeconomic status play a substantial role? implications for an irish health policymaker

By Diarmuid Coughlan, Brian Turner and Antonio Trujillo


In this article, the authors argue that the association between socioeconomic status and motivation for a health-literate health care system has implications for health policymakers. As Ireland now undergoes health care reform, the authors pose the question, Should policymakers invest in health literacy as predominately a health inequalities or a public health issue? Data from 2 cohorts of the Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition (1998 and 2002) were used to construct a motivation for a health-literate health care system variable. Multivariate logistic regressions and concentration curves were used in the analyses of this variable. Of the 12,513 pooled respondents, 46% sought at least 1 attribute on a health-literate health care system. No discernible trend emerged from the main independent variablessocial class grouping, medical card eligibility, level of education, and employmentin the regression analyses. The concentration curve, for 2002 data, graphically showed that the motivation for a health-literate health care system is spread equally across the income distribution. This analysis and more recent data suggest that health literacy in Ireland should be viewed predominately as a public health issue with a policy focus at a system level

Topics: self-rated health, inequalities
Publisher: 'Informa UK Limited'
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1080/10810730.2013.825674
OAI identifier:
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