Effect of Health Literacy on the Awareness of Gynecological Cancer Among Women in Turkey


USLU ŞAHAN F., MERT KARADAŞ M., YILDIZ T., KOÇ G.

Indian Journal of Gynecologic Oncology, vol.21, no.1, 2023 (Scopus) identifier identifier

Abstract

© 2022, The Author(s) under exclusive licence to Association of Gynecologic Oncologists of India.Purpose: Health literacy can aid in raising awareness of gynecological cancers in women and adopting preventive behaviors. In this study, we investigated the factors affecting the gynecological cancer awareness and health literacy of 20–65-year-old women and the effect of health literacy on gynecological cancer awareness. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study design was carried out on 276 women using a purposeful sampling. Data were collected using a personal information form, the Gynecological Cancer Awareness Scale (GCAS), and the European Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLS-EU-Q). The data were analyzed by conducting independent t tests, one-way ANOVA, and hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis. Results: The GCAS score of the participants was 159.48 ± 25.98 (range = 41–205), and the HLS-EU-Q score was 103.73 ± 17.36 (range = 25–125). The differences between the GCAS score and the HLS-EU-Q score and the variables, such as education, employment, income, whether they underwent a gynecological examination in the previous year, and knowledge about gynecological cancers, were significant (p < 0.05). The differences between the HLS-EU-Q and the family history of cancer were also significant (p < 0.05). The results of the hierarchical regression analysis showed that knowledge about gynecologic cancer (β = 0.145, p = 0.005) and health literacy (β = 0.540, p = 0.001) were important predictors of gynecologic cancer awareness. Conclusion: Along with the information on gynecological cancers, health literacy increases the awareness of gynecological cancer among women. Health-promoting interventions should be planned, considering health literacy levels, to help women access and understand information regarding gynecological cancers more easily and to increase their awareness.