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The Health Literacy and M-Health Nexus: Potential Tools for Health Education Programs among the Urban Poor in Accra, Ghana

Authors: Raymond Tutu*, Delaware State University
Topics: Africa, Medical and Health Geography, Population Geography
Keywords: Health literacy, M-Health, Ghana, Accra, Foodborne diseases, Medical geography
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This study explores the relative effects of health literacy on M-Health in the context of a poor urban neighborhood. Specifically, the extent to which an individual’s health literacy level predicts receipt of health information about foodborne diseases on their mobile phone is examined. Conceptually, the study hypothesizes that higher health literacy may increase one’s desire to subscribe and receive health information on their mobile devices. With foodborne diseases remaining a major cause of morbidity in Ghana and given the paucity of research on foodborne diseases and M-Health, this research a step towards enhancing M-Health programs intended for health education. A survey was administered to a random sample of adult residents in James Town, Accra, and elicited information on self-reported functional, interactive, and critical health literacies on foodborne diseases, as well as the frequency with which they receive health information on their mobile phones. Reliability analyses was undertaken to ensure internal consistency of the items measuring health literacy. Chi-Square tests were used to examine bivariate relationships between receipt of health information on mobile phones, and the health literacy typologies, as well as socio-demographic factors. Ordinal Logit Regression models were fitted to assess the predictive ability of health literacy on receipt of health information. The results reveal that functional, critical, and total health literacy were significant predictors of receipt of health information on one’s mobile phone. The higher an individual’s health literacy, the higher the rating on the likelihood to receive health information on mobile phone, controlling for demographic variables.

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