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The Role of Health Literacy in Family Planning Use among Senegalese Women
Authors: Theresa Y Kim, Muhiuddin Haider, Gregory R Hancock, and Michel H Boudreaux
Source: Journal of Health Communication, 24(3): 244-261; DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2019.1601299
Topic(s): Family planning
Women's health
Country: Africa
Published: APR 2019
Abstract: Health communication has contributed to an increase in family planning use through education and mass media as a means to increase health literacy. In this research, we investigate health literacy as an auxiliary component of health communication. We test the validity of the Health Literacy Skills Framework by examining the correlation of health literacy indicators to family planning use among Senegalese women in the 2014 Demographic Health Survey. We found that increased family planning use was most strongly associated with hearing family planning messages through television and radio. Other health literacy indicators, including access to printed family planning messaging, textual literacy, and knowledge of ovulatory cycles did not strengthen family planning use, even when performing a subgroup analysis of women who could read. The implications are that the Health Literacy Skills framework can measure health literacy's ability (assessed through proxy indicators of health literacy) to predict modern family planning use among Senegalese women and that audio and visual health literacy measures are most strongly associated with increased family planning use.