Date of Conferral





Public Health


Kuo Wen-Hung


There is limited research available linking health literacy and diabetes knowledge to poor health outcomes among refugees. The aim of this study was to determine the levels of health literacy and diabetes knowledge and examine whether different factors (age, education, employment status, number of years lived with diabetes and length of stay since resettlement) are associated with health literacy and diabetes knowledge. A cross-sectional study was performed among 82 refugee women with a known diagnosis of diabetes and residing in Maricopa County, Arizona. A modified two part questionnaire (self-reported health literacy extracted from the European Health Literacy Questionnaire [HLS-EU-Q16] and diabetes knowledge was measured using the Spoken Knowledge in Low Literacy in Diabetes [SKILLD] tool) was used. Simple and multiple logistic regressions statistical methods were used to examine the associations between health literacy, diabetes knowledge and variables. 76.8% (N=63) reported Low Health Literacy and 53.7% (N=44) reported low diabetes knowledge. Low education was associated with low health literacy and years lived with diabetes was associated with diabetes knowledge. No significant associations were established between other variables and, health literacy or diabetes knowledge levels. Health care providers, public and private health sectors are therefore urged to develop evidence-based interventions that seek to address health literacy among refugee women at the individual and systematic levels. There is need for more research to better understand all the factors that are associated with health literacy, production of refugee-relevant educational material that will increase health literacy skills and reduce health disparities.