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Freund, M.; Noble, N.; Boyes, A.; Clapham, M.; Adamson, D.; Sanson-Fisher, R.
A Secondary Analysis of the Australian National Health Survey 2017–2018
Background: Social housing tenants have poorer health outcomes than homeowners or those renting privately. Health literacy is associated with access to care and health outcomes. This study aimed to examine the health literacy of Australian adults residing in social housing compared with that of people living in other housing types.
Methods: A secondary analysis of the Australian National Health Survey 2017–2018 dataset was undertaken. A total of 5275 respondents were included in the sample and completed the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ).
Results: Social housing tenants had lower mean domain scores than either homeowners, owner mortgagees, or private renters on six of the nine health literacy domains. This included ‘having sufficient information to manage my health’, ‘social support for health’, ‘ability to engage with healthcare providers’, ‘navigating the healthcare system’ ‘ability to find good health information’, and being able to ‘understand health information enough to know what to do’. However, the differences in mean scores were small. Conclusions: Increasing health literacy may be an important part of multicomponent interventions seeking to improve the health and wellbeing of social housing tenants.