The Role of Sources and Types of Health Information in Shaping Health Literacy in Cervical Cancer Screening Among African Immigrant Women: A Mixed-Methods Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Health literacy is a strong determinant of health outcomes among immigrants. How sources and types of health information influence health literacy in the context of cervical cancer screening among African immigrant women remains unknown. OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to explore how various sources and types of health information influence information sharing and health literacy in the context of cervical cancer screening among African immigrant women. METHODS: Using a mixed-methods approach, a convenience sample of African immigrant women (N = 167) completed study surveys followed by semi-structured individual phone interviews with a purposive sub-sample (n = 20) of survey participants. The relationship between sources and types of health information and health literacy was assessed using multivariate logistic regression. Emergent themes were identified in the qualitative interviews using content analysis. Qualitative and quantitative data were merged to describe differences and similarities in African immigrant women's experiences and display of health literacy by different sources and types of health information. KEY RESULTS: Health care providers (78%), women friends (46%), and internet (45%) were the most common sources of health information used by African immigrant women, followed by women relatives (32%), television (22%), social media (17%), and church (16%). Content analysis revealed that the health care provider was rated as the most credible source; personal experiences of family and friends made health information more relatable; and church was the least endorsed source. Health information presented verbally (adjusted odds ratio of 5.51, p = .01) was associated with higher health literacy even after controlling for covariates. Most African immigrant women had health information presented in verbal form (80%), with pictures (43%) being the least popular type of health information. CONCLUSIONS: Study findings suggest that verbal communication is associated with health literacy in the context of cervical cancer screening among African immigrant women. Health interventions that use peer educators (women friends and family) and incorporate verbal communication may be a more effective strategy in promoting positive cervical cancer health behaviors among African immigrant women. [HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice. 2021;5(2):e96-e108.] Plain Language Summary: For this mixed-methods study, a convenience sample of African immigrant women (N = 167) completed study surveys followed by semi-structured individual phone interviews with a purposive sub-sample (n = 20) of the survey participants. Study findings show a strong association between verbal communication and health literacy in the context of cervical cancer screening among African immigrant women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e96-e108
JournalHealth literacy research and practice
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Role of Sources and Types of Health Information in Shaping Health Literacy in Cervical Cancer Screening Among African Immigrant Women: A Mixed-Methods Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this