Journal Article

Developing a measure of communicative and critical health literacy: a pilot study of Japanese office workers

Hirono Ishikawa, Kyoko Nomura, Mikiya Sato and Eiji Yano

in Health Promotion International

Volume 23, issue 3, pages 269-274
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI:
Developing a measure of communicative and critical health literacy: a pilot study of Japanese office workers

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With the increase in media reports and rapid diffusion of the Internet, the skills in finding and utilizing health information (health literacy; HL) are becoming important in maintaining and promoting health. This study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of a brief measure to assess major components of communicative and critical HL among Japanese office workers, in order to consider its applicability to health promotion at workplace. The participants were 190 male office workers at a Japanese company. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed at the annual health checkup, in which HL, health-related behaviors and coping with job stress were asked. Also, the number of somatic symptoms reported by the worker was counted out of the eight symptoms in the health checkup questionnaire. The higher HL group was more likely to have regular eating patterns and exercise weekly, and tended to be a never smoker. In coping with job stress, those with higher HL were more likely to actively solve the problems or seek support from others, whereas those with lower HL were more likely to be resigned to the situation. Further, lower HL group reported significantly greater number of somatic symptoms than higher HL group. These findings were generally as hypothesized, supporting the validity of the HL scale among office workers. Further research on HL is needed to explore the extent and impact of HL on health outcomes.

Keywords: health-related behaviors; health literacy; somatic symptoms; stress coping

Journal Article.  3325 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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