Health literacy and the health status of men with prostate cancer

Goodwin, Belinda C. and March, Sonja and Zajdlewicz, Leah and Osborne, Richard H. and Dunn, Jeff and Chambers, Suzanne K. (2018) Health literacy and the health status of men with prostate cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 27 (10). pp. 2374-2381. ISSN 1057-9249


To test the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) in a sample of men with prostate cancer and examine the components of health literacy that are most strongly associated with mental and physical health‐related quality of life in men with prostate cancer.

Members (N = 565) of a state‐wide prostate cancer support network in Queensland, Australia (Mage = 71.14, SD = 8.68) completed the HLQ along with the Medical Outcomes Study, 36‐item short‐form health survey (SF‐36). Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to assess the internal structure of the HLQ. The effects (bs) of each of the nine health literacy factors on mental and physical health status were graphed and compared using Fishers exact test for comparing parameter estimates.

Fit indices including RMSEA (0.069, CI = 0.066‐0.072), CFI (.853), and TLI (.839), alongside item loadings and internal consistency (Cronbach alphas >0.80) for the nine‐factor model, supported the robustness of the HLQ for use in this prostate cancer sample. Health literacy factors reflecting social and health provider support, navigating health systems, finding and understanding health information, and active engagement with providers shared small to moderate associations with mental health status and little to no association with physical health status.

Findings provide support for the use of the HLQ as a valid and reliable measure of health literacy in men with prostate cancer. Although further research is required to establish causality, interventions that aim to improve skills in connecting and effectively communicating with health care services and providers might lead to better mental health related quality of life for men with prostate cancer.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version embargoed until 1 November 2019 (12 months), in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2018 04:58
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2018 04:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: prostate cancer, health literacy, health status, quality of life
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis > 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/pon.4834

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