J Med Assoc Thai 2020; 103 (12):1315-24

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Health Literacy and Long-Term Care Needs among Thai Elderly in Rural Communities
Hanklang S Mail, Pramoolsinsup K , Patcharakaetanont N , Sivasan S , Srisen T

Background: Factors related to long-term care needs have been studied widely, but there is limited research about the influence of health literacy on long-term care needs among the elderly in rural communities where the social context and care environment are uniquely different.

Objective: To examine factors influencing long-term care needs among Thai elderly in rural communities.

Materials and Methods: The present study used the cross-sectional design. The study sample included 477 elderly persons, who were members of the communities in Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Multi-stage random sampling was used to select participants. They were interviewed using the demographic and health information questionnaire, the Thai Geriatric Depression Scale (TGDS), the health literacy scale of Thai adults and long-term care needs questionnaire. The selected factors examined as independent variables included some demographic factors, depressive symptom, and health literacy.

Results: The present study results revealed significant positive relationships existing between long-term care needs with age and depressive symptom, while negative relationships between income and health literacy were reported. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that four of nine determinants of long-term care needs: age, depressive symptom, health knowledge and understanding, and ability managing their health condition significantly predicted long-term care needs at a level of 18% (R² adjusted=0.18, p<0.001).

Conclusion: The present study results showed associations between personal and health literacy factors with long-term care needs. These findings prove that it is vitally important for healthcare professionals to consider the rural elderly’s mental health status and health literacy when providing care and planning treatment.

Keywords: Health literacy, Long-term care needs, Rural community

DOI: doi.org/10.35755/jmedassocthai.2020.12.11213

Received 13 March 2020 | Revised 8 July 2020 | Accepted 14 July 2020

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