Health literacy and diabetes self-care in individuals with type 2 diabetes in Turkey


      • Health literacy levels of individuals with diabetes were inadequate and problematic-limited.
      • Diabetes self-care of patients at an inadequate level of health literacy were lower than other patients.
      • Health literacy was a significantly related to diabetes self-care.
      • Education and exercise status were significantly related to diabetes self-care.



      The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between health literacy and diabetes self-care in individuals with type 2 diabetes.


      This cross-sectional study was conducted with 207 individuals with Type 2 diabetes at a diabetes outpatient clinic of a foundation university hospital in Istanbul, Turkey. The data were collected using a sociodemographic and illness characteristics questionnaire, the Turkish version of the European Health Literacy Survey Questionnaire (HLS-EU-Q-TR), and the Diabetes Self-Care Scale (DSCS). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, Student’s t-test, Pearson correlation test, and multiple regression analysis.


      It was found that 81.5% of individuals with type 2 diabetes were at an inadequate or limited and problematic level of health literacy. The DSCS mean scores of patients with an inadequate health literacy level were significantly lower than that of patients at other levels of health literacy. It was determined that education level, exercise status, and HLS-EU-Q-TR scores were significantly related to diabetes self-care (R² = 0.245, p < 0.001).


      The study found that individuals with type 2 diabetes had higher diabetes self-care if they had a high education level, regularly exercised, or had high HLS-EU-Q-TR mean scores.


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