Health-related behaviors moderate the association between age and self-reported health literacy among Taiwanese women

Tuyen Van Duong, Kristine Sørensen, Jürgen M. Pelikan, Stephan Van den Broucke, I. Feng Lin, Ying Chin Lin, Hsiao Ling Huang, Peter Wushou Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The role of health-related behaviors in the association between age and health literacy has not been well-elucidated. The present cross-sectional study evaluated the interactions between age and health-related behaviors in 942 women in Taiwan between February and October 2013. Women aged 18–78 years were randomly sampled and recruited from the national administrative system. Self-reported health literacy was measured by the European Health Literacy Survey Questionnaire (HLS-EU-Q47) in Mandarin, asking about sociodemographics and essential health-related behaviors (watching health-related television, community involvement). The interviews were conducted confidentially by well-trained interviewers after having participants’ consent. In multiple linear regression models adjusted for education attainment, self-perceived social status, ability to pay for medication, and health-related behaviors, health literacy was significantly negatively related to age (unstandardized regression coefficient, B = −0.04; 95% confidence interval [CI] = (−0.07; 0.00); p = .03). The lower health literacy among older women was significantly modified by watching health-related television programs (from “rarely/not-at-all”, B = −0.08 (−0.12, −0.04), p < .001 to “often”; B = 0.10 (0.07, 0.12); p < .001) and community involvement (from “rarely/not-at-all”, B = −0.06 (−0.10, −0.03); p = .001 to “often”, B = 0.06 (0.03, 0.08); p < .001). Specific health behaviors were protective of older women’s health literacy and likely their health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-646
Number of pages15
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Age
  • community involvement
  • health literacy
  • health-related television
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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