Introduction: Health literacy is one of the main determinants of health promotion. Regarding the influential role of the women in a society, enhancing their critical health literacy would be a prerequisite for the promotion of public health. The aims of this study were to determine the level of health literacy among fertile Iranian women with breast cancer and to determine the relationship between the health literacy level and socio demographic factors, such as age, educational level, occupation, age of marriage, duration of marriage, and several clinical factors, including taking psychiatric medication and the type of breast surgery among breast cancer patients.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 260 fertile patients with breast cancer from screening and monitoring centers and breast cancer clinics in Tehran from August 2014 to August 2015. Data were collected using socio demographic and clinical questionnaires developed by the researchers and the questionnaire for health literacy for Iranian adults (HELIA).The results were analyzed using SPSS-IBM version 20 and the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, along with Kido’s correlation test.

Results: The mean age of the participants was 43.32. Most of the participants (68.5%) had high school diplomas or lower school degrees (based on educational system in Iran). The mean score of health literacy was 75.73. The levels of health literacy among the different groups of participants were as follows: insufficient health literacy (6.9% of patients), barely enough health literacy (18.8% of patients), enough health literacy (38.8% of patients) and excellent health literacy (35.1% of patients). Also, significant relationships were found between the level of health literacy and the participants’ age of marriage, duration of marriage, educational level, and occupation (p < 0.05). 

Conclusion: This study showed that the level of health literacy was high among women with breast cancer. This indicates that their high level of health literacy might be used as a contributor to the promotion of the public health in terms of awareness about breast cancer.


Keywords: health literacy, breast cancer, fertility age, Iranian women
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