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Health literacy and substance use in young Swiss men


Dermota, Petra; Wang, Jen; Dey, Michelle; Gmel, Gerhard; Studer, Joseph; Mohler-Kuo, Meichun (2013). Health literacy and substance use in young Swiss men. International Journal of Public Health, 58(6):939-948.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the present study was to describe health literacy and its association with substance use among young men.
METHODS: The present study was part of the Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors that included 11,930 Swiss males participating in initial screening from August 2010 to July 2011. Self-completed questionnaires covered use of three substances and three components of health literacy.
RESULTS: Roughly 22 % reported having searched the Internet for health information and 16 % for information on substances over the past 12 months. At-risk and not at-risk users of alcohol (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.50 and 1.46), tobacco (AOR = 2.51 and 1.79) and cannabis (AOR = 4.86 and 3.53) searched for information about substances significantly more often via the Internet than abstainers. Furthermore, at-risk users reported better knowledge of risks associated with substance use and a marginally better ability to understand health information than abstainers.
CONCLUSIONS: Substance users appear to be more informed and knowledgeable about the risks of substance use than non-users. Consequently, interventions that focus only on information provision may be of limited benefit for preventing substance use.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the present study was to describe health literacy and its association with substance use among young men.
METHODS: The present study was part of the Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors that included 11,930 Swiss males participating in initial screening from August 2010 to July 2011. Self-completed questionnaires covered use of three substances and three components of health literacy.
RESULTS: Roughly 22 % reported having searched the Internet for health information and 16 % for information on substances over the past 12 months. At-risk and not at-risk users of alcohol (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.50 and 1.46), tobacco (AOR = 2.51 and 1.79) and cannabis (AOR = 4.86 and 3.53) searched for information about substances significantly more often via the Internet than abstainers. Furthermore, at-risk users reported better knowledge of risks associated with substance use and a marginally better ability to understand health information than abstainers.
CONCLUSIONS: Substance users appear to be more informed and knowledgeable about the risks of substance use than non-users. Consequently, interventions that focus only on information provision may be of limited benefit for preventing substance use.

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13 citations in Web of Science®
17 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:20 Jan 2014 14:38
Last Modified:28 Aug 2017 15:32
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1661-8556
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-013-0487-9
PubMed ID:23842581

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