The association of health literacy with intention to vaccinate and vaccination status. A systematic review


Despite health literacy (HL) being recognized as a driver of health-promoting behavior, its influence on the vaccination decision-making process remains unclear. This study summarized current evidence on the association between HL and both intention to vaccinate and vaccination status. We searched PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science, retrieving observational studies published until January 2022 that used HL-validated tools to investigate the above associations for any vaccine. Quality was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa scale. Twenty-one articles were included; of these, six investigated the intention to vaccinate and the remainder vaccination status. Articles on intention looked at SARS-CoV-2 vaccination using heterogeneous HL tools and were of high/fair quality. Vaccination status, mainly for influenza or pneumococcal vaccines, was explored using various HL tools; the quality was generally high. We found inconsistent results across and within vaccine types, with no clear conclusion for either vaccination intention or status. A weak but positive association was reported between a high HL level and influenza vaccination uptake for individuals aged more than 65 years. HL did not seem to significantly influence behavior towards vaccination. Differences in the methods used might explain these results. Further research is needed to investigate the role of HL in the vaccination decision-making process

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