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Table 3 Health literacy scores by sociodemographic characteristics

From: Health literacy in a population-based sample of Australian women: a cross-sectional profile of the Geelong Osteoporosis Study

  Scale 1.
Feeling understood and supported by healthcare providers
Scale 2.
Having sufficient information to manage my health
Scale 3.
Actively managing my health
Scale 4.
Social support for health
Scale 5.
Appraisal of health information
Scale 6.
Ability to actively engage with healthcare providers
Scale 7.
Navigating the healthcare system
Scale 8.
Ability to find good health information
Scale 9.
Understanding health information well enough to know what to do
Mean score (±SD)
Score range 1–4 Score range 1–5
Age < 65 3.17 (0.55)
n = 455
3.10 (0.44)
n = 455
2.98 (0.53)
n = 454
3.07 (0.51)
n = 455
2.83 (0.49)
n = 455
4.18 (0.55)
n = 451
4.11 (0.54)
n = 451
4.20 (0.51)
n = 451
4.34 (0.48)
n = 451
≥65 3.23 (0.46)
n = 257
3.02 (0.42)
n = 257
2.99 (0.40)
n = 256
3.11 (0.48)
n = 256
2.77 (0.47)
n = 255
4.15 (0.61)
n = 253
4.05 (0.64)
n = 252
3.94 (0.68)
n = 252
4.16 (0.62)
n = 253
Effect size for age (95% CI) −0.12 (−0.06, −0.17) 0.19 (0.14, 0.24) −0.02 (− 0.07, 0.03) −0.08 (− 0.06, 0.13) 0.12 (0.08, 0.18) 0.05 (0.00, 0.13) 0.10 (0.05, 0.18) 0.45 (0.40, 0.54) 0.34 (0.29, 0.41)
 Live alone No 3.21 (0.51)
n = 559
3.09 (0.43)
n = 559
2.98 (0.49)
n = 558
3.10 (0.49)
n = 558
2.81 (0.47)
n = 558
4.19 (0.55)
n = 557
4.11 (0.54)
n = 557
4.14 (0.56)
n = 557
4.23 (0.51)
n = 557
Yes 3.17 (0.56)
n = 137
3.04 (0.48)
n = 137
3.02 (0.44)
n = 137
3.03 (0.53)
n = 137
2.79 (0.53)
n = 136
4.11 (0.67)
n = 135
4.04 (0.69)
n = 134
3.99 (0.68)
n = 134
4.17 (0.65)
n = 135
Effect size for live alone (95% CI) 0.08 (0.03, 0.17) 0.11 (0.08, 0.19) −0.08 (−0.12, −0.01) 0.14 (0.10, 0.23) 0.04 (0.00, 0.13) 0.14 (0.09, 0.25) 0.12 (0.08, 0.24) 0.26 (0.21, 0.37) 0.11 (0.07, 0.22)
 Born overseas No 3.20 (0.53)
n = 613
3.09 (0.44)
n = 613
2.99 (0.49)
n = 611
3.08 (0.50)
n = 612
2.81 (0.48)
n = 611
4.17 (0.58)
n = 606
4.10 (0.57)
n = 605
4.13 (0.57)
n = 605
4.29 (0.53)
n = 606
Yes 3.20 (0.46)
n = 98
2.96 (0.44)
n = 98
2.94 (0.45)
n = 98
3.10 (0.49)
n = 98
2.76 (0.51)
n = 98
4.17 (0.57)
n = 98
4.07 (0.58)
n = 98
3.97 (0.69)
n = 98
4.20 (0.60)
n = 98
Effect size for live alone (95% CI) 0.00 (−0.04, 0.09) 0.30 (0.26, 0.38) 0.10 (0.06, 0.19) −0.04 (− 0.08, 0.06) 0.10 (0.07, 0.20) 0.00 (− 0.05, 0.11) 0.05 (0.01, 0.17) 0.26 (0.21, 0.39) 0.17 (0.12, 0.29)
 Health care card No 3.19 (0.54)
n = 415
3.13 (0.43)
n = 415
3.02 (0.52)
n = 415
3.12 (0.48)
n = 415
2.84 (0.48)
n = 414
4.22 (0.55)
n = 412
4.13 (0.54)
n = 411
4.22 (0.50)
n = 411
4.36 (0.49)
n = 412
Yes 3.22 (0.49)
n = 282
3.01 (0.44)
n = 282
2.95 (0.43)
n = 281
3.05 (0.52)
n = 281
2.75 (0.49)
n = 281
4.12 (0.60)
n = 279
4.06 (0.59)
n = 279
3.97 (0.65)
n = 279
4.18 (0.57)
n = 279
Effect size for HC card (95% CI) −0.06 (−0.11, 0.00) 0.28 (0.24, 0.33) 0.14 (0.09, 0.19) 0.14 (0.10, 0.20) 0.19 (0.14, 0.24) 0.18 (0.12, 0.25) 0.13 (0.07, 0.19) 0.44 (0.39, 0.52) 0.34 (0.30, 0.41)
 Private health insurance Yes 3.24 (0.51)
n = 495
3.11 (0.43)
n = 495
3.02 (0.49)
n = 495
3.12 (0.47)
n = 495
2.83 (0.48)
n = 494
4.22 (0.54)
n = 490
4.14 (0.55)
n = 489
4.15 (0.57)
n = 489
4.32 (0.52)
n = 490
No 3.10 (0.54)
n = 203
3.00 (0.45)
n = 203
2.91 (0.48)
n = 203
3.01 (0.56)
n = 203
2.75 (0.49)
n = 203
4.05 (0.64)
n = 202
4.00 (0.63)
n = 202
4.02 (0.63)
n = 202
4.17 (0.58)
n = 202
Effect size for insurance (95% CI) 0.27 (0.21, 0.34) 0.25 (0.21, 0.31) 0.23 (0.18, 0.29) 0.22 (0.18, 0.30) 0.17 (0.12, 0.23) 0.30 (0.25, 0.30) 0.24 (0.20, 0.33) 0.22 (0.17, 0.31) 0.28 (0.23, 0.36)
 Health conditions < 3 3.19 (0.51)
n = 570
3.09 (0.41)
n = 570
2.99 (0.49)
n = 568
3.12 (0.46)
n = 569
2.81 (0.48)
n = 568
4.21 (0.54)
n = 564
4.12 (0.54)
n = 563
4.16 (0.54)
n = 563
4.31 (0.51)
n = 564
≥3 3.22 (0.57)
n = 142
3.00 (0.54)
n = 142
2.96 (0.49)
n = 142
2.94 (0.60)
n = 142
2.80 (0.51)
n = 142
4.02 (0.68)
n = 140
3.97 (0.67)
n = 140
3.90 (0.71)
n = 140
4.14 (0.63)
n = 140
Effect size for conditions (95% CI) −0.06 (−0.10, 0.04) 0.21 (0.17, 0.29) 0.06 (0.02, 0.14) 0.37 (0.33, 0.47) 0.02 (−0.02, 0.10) 0.33 (0.29, 0.45) 0.26 (0.22, 0.38) 0.45 (0.41, 0.57) 0.32 (0.28, 0.42)
  1. Results in bold indicate a p-value < 0.05 for difference in means tested using one-way ANOVA
  2. ES calculated using Cohen’s d. ES are interpreted as “Small” > 0.2–0.5, “Moderate” > 0.5–0.8, “Large” > 0.8