A comparative analysis of student and practising nurses’ health literacy knowledge in ghana

Adwoa Owusuaa Koduah, Padmore Adusei Amoah, Jacob Oppong Nkansah, Angela Y.M. Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined student and practising nurses’ health literacy knowledge, and its correlates in Ghana. It was underpinned by an adapted version of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) conceptual framework of health literacy. We used convenience and snowball sampling techniques to collect data from 876 nurses (477 student nurses and 399 practising nurses) in a cross-sectional survey from February 2019 to June 2019. The respondents were drawn from all the former ten administrative regions of Ghana. Approximately 75.4% of the respondents had heard of health literacy. However, health literacy knowledge was generally low (average score of 6.6 out of 20) among both groups, with student nurses (average score of 5.8 out of 20) having significantly lower scores than practising nurses (average score of 7.4 out of 20). Factors associated with health literacy knowledge among student nurses included gender (male, B = −0.499, p < 0.01), trust in others (B = −0.874, p < 0.001), cultural values (B = 0.276, p < 0.001), year of study (B = 0.244, p < 0.05), and frequency of curative care use (B = −0.236, p < 0.05). For practising nurses, trust (B = −1.252, p < 0.01), cultural values (B = 0.357, p < 0.01), and working experience (B = 0.612, p < 0.01) were associated with their health literacy knowledge. Thus, responses targeted at gaps in health literacy knowledge of student and practising nurses must be sensitive to personal characteristics (e.g., gender), social values (e.g., issues of trust, and cultural beliefs and practices), as well as factors relating to nursing education and experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2021


  • Ghana
  • Health literacy
  • Health literacy knowledge
  • Nurses
  • Practising nurses
  • Student nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Information Management
  • Leadership and Management


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