Low Health Literacy Is Associated with Poorer Physical and Mental Health-Related Quality of Life in Dialysed Patients

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Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important health indicator in chronic diseases like kidney diseases. Health literacy (HL) may strongly affect HRQoL, but evidence is scarce. Therefore, we assessed the associations of HL with HRQoL in dialysed patients. We performed a cross-sectional study in 20 dialysis clinics across Slovakia (n = 542 patients, mean age = 63.6 years, males = 60.7%). We assessed the association of categorised HL (low, moderate, high) with the SF36 physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) using generalised linear models adjusted for age, gender, education, and comorbidity (Charlson Comorbidity Index, CCI). We found significant associations of HL with PCS and MCS in dialysed patients, adjusted for age, gender, education, and CCI. Low-HL patients had a lower PCS (B = −3.27, 95%-confidence interval, CI: −5.76/−0.79) and MCS (B = −6.05, 95%-CI: −8.82/−3.29) than high-HL patients. Moderate-HL patients had a lower MCS (B = −4.26, 95%-CI: −6.83/−1.69) than high-HL patients. HL is associated with physical and mental HRQoL; this indicates that dialysed patients with lower HL deserve specific attention and tailored care to have their HRQoL increased.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13265
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2022


  • dialysed patients
  • health literacy
  • health-related quality of life
  • mental component score
  • physical component score

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