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Table 4 Mean health literacy scores (±SD) and effect sizes (95%CI) across anthropometric and lifestyle risk factors

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
BMI (kg/m2) < 25 3.17 (0.53)
n = 220
3.11 (0.41)
n = 220
3.10 (0.50)
n = 219
3.15 (0.43)
n = 219
2.85 (0.48)
n = 219
4.19 (0.54)
n = 216
4.13 (0.54)
n = 216
4.16 (0.54)
n = 216
4.29 (0.52)
n = 216
≥25 3.23 (0.49)
n = 435
3.07 (0.43)
n = 435
2.93 (0.47)
n = 434
3.06 (0.51)
n = 435
2.79 (0.49)
n = 435
4.19 (0.56)
n = 432
4.10 (0.54)
n = 431
4.11 (0.57)
n = 431
4.29 (0.50)
n = 432
Effect size for BMI (95% CI) − 0.12 (− 0.19, − 0.07) 0.09 (0.04, 0.14) 0.35 (0.29, 0.40) 0.19 (0.13, 0.23) 0.12 (0.06, 0.17) 0.00 (− 0.07, 0.05) 0.05 (− 0.02, 0.11) 0.09 (0.02, 0.14) 0.00 (− 0.07, 0.05)
 Waist circumference (cm) < 80 3.19 (0.52)
n = 194
3.14 (0.42)
n = 194
3.11 (0.53)
n = 194
3.17 (0.45)
n = 194
2.85 (0.49)
n = 194
4.19 (0.59)
n = 191
4.14 (0.59)
n = 191
4.20 (0.59)
n = 191
4.33 (0.56)
n = 191
≥80 3.22 (0.50)
n = 463
3.06 (0.42)
n = 463
2.93 (0.46)
n = 461
3.06 (0.50)
n = 462
2.79 (0.48)
n = 462
4.18 (0.54)
n = 459
4.09 (0.53)
n = 458
4.08 (0.56)
n = 458
4.27 (0.50)
n = 459
Effect size for waist (95% CI) −0.06 (− 0.13, − 0.01) 0.19 (0.13, 0.23) 0.37 (0.30, 0.42) 0.23 (0.16, 0.27) 0.12 (0.06, 0.17) 0.02 (− 0.07, 0.07) 0.09 (0.01, 0.14) 0.21 (0.13, 0.26) 0.12 (0.04, 0.16)
 Sedentary No 3.20 (0.50)
n = 502
3.09 (0.40)
n = 502
3.03 (0.49)
n = 500
3.10 (0.49)
n = 501
2.81 (0.49)
n = 501
4.22 (0.54)
n = 495
4.14 (0.53)
n = 494
4.18 (0.52)
n = 494
4.34 (0.49)
n = 495
Yes 3.26 (0.52)
n = 162
3.03 (0.52)
n = 162
2.87 (0.46)
n = 162
3.06 (0.51)
n = 162
2.79 (0.49)
n = 162
4.08 (0.65)
n = 162
4.00 (0.68)
n = 162
3.92 (0.73)
n = 162
4.11 (0.65)
n = 162
Effect size for sedentary (95% CI) −0.12 (−0.16, 0.04) 0.14 (0.10, 0.22) 0.33 (0.29, 0.40) 0.08 (0.04, 0.16) 0.04 (0.00, 0.12) 0.25 (0.20, 0.35) 0.25 (0.20, 0.35) 0.45 (0.40, 0.56) 0.43 (0.39, 0.53)
 Alcohol-drinks per day ≤2 3.20 (0.50)
n = 504
3.06 (0.43)
n = 504
2.97 (0.48)
n = 503
3.07 (0.50)
n = 503
2.80 (0.49)
n = 503
4.17 (0.57)
n = 498
4.08 (0.58)
n = 497
4.09 (0.60)
n = 497
4.25 (0.55)
n = 498
> 2 3.24 (0.54)
n = 162
3.14 (0.42)
n = 160
3.03 (0.53)
n = 159
3.15 (0.46)
n = 160
2.84 (0.48)
n = 160
4.23 (0.51)
n = 159
4.16 (0.50)
n = 159
4.20 (0.50)
n = 159
4.38 (0.47)
n = 159
Effect size for alcohol (95% CI) −0.08 (−0.12, 0.00) −0.19 (−0.22, − 0.12) −0.12 (− 0.16, − 0.04) −0.16 (− 0.21, − 0.09) −0.08 (− 0.12, − 0.01) −0.11 (− 0.16, − 0.03) −0.14 (− 0.19, − 0.06) −0.19 (− 0.24, − 0.11) −0.24 (− 0.29, − 0.17)
 Smoking No 3.22 (0.49)
n = 596
3.08 (0.43)
n = 596
3.00 (0.48)
n = 594
3.10 (0.48)
n = 595
2.81 (0.49)
n = 595
4.17 (0.56)
n = 590
4.09 (0.57)
n = 590
4.11 (0.58)
n = 589
4.27 (0.54)
n = 589
Yes 3.12 (0.65)
n = 69
3.10 (0.49)
n = 69
2.84 (0.56)
n = 69
2.99 (0.58)
n = 69
2.79 (0.51)
n = 69
4.23 (0.66)
n = 69
4.17 (0.59)
n = 69
4.17 (0.68)
n = 69
4.40 (0.52)
n = 69
Effect size for smoking (95% CI) 0.20 (0.16, 0.35) −0.04 (−0.08, 0.12) 0.33 (0.29, 0.46) 0.22 (0.19, 0.36) 0.04 (0.00, 0.16) −0.11 (− 0.15, 0.05) −0.14 (− 0.19, 0.00) −0.10 (− 0.15, 0.06) −0.24 (− 0.29, − 0.12)
  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