HEALTH STATUS AS AN INDICATOR OF HEALTH LITERACY IN THE ROMANY MINORITY IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
References: 5th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2018, www.sgemvienna.org, SGEM2018 Vienna ART Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-32-4 / ISSN 2367-5659, 19 - 21 March, 2018, Vol. 5, Issue 3.1; 655-660 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/31/S13.083
Introduction: Besides the conditions under which an individual is born, grows up and grows old, health literacy is an important factor participating in the quality of health. Health promotion and prevention of diseases include, through all the individual`s life, a wide range of activities contributing to the health improvement of population in individual countries. The traditional areas contributing to the improvement of health quality include the public health protection and promotion and health education. The health literacy promotion is important because low health literacy impairs health, reduces the quality of life and increases the costs of health care. Health literacy should be improved across the whole population with respect to cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic differences. The Romany represent the most numerous minority in the Czech Republic being frequently associated with the topic of health literacy. The Romany`s health status is poorer than in the majority population. In addition, all available data indicate that the health of the majority of the Romany is being impaired, which is mainly true for those living in isolated Romany settlements. The Romany`s generally poor health status is influenced, least but not last, by an inadequate awareness of prevention in the area of health.
Methodology: The paper presents partial results of the RVO ZSF JU project (Project of the South Bohemian University) called Health Literacy in Selected Groups of Population of the South Bohemian Region (SDZ2016), that is under way between 2016 and 2019. The quantitative study was performed by a questioning method using a nonstandardized questionnaire (face-to-face dialogues). The study included 300 Romany respondents. The data were processed by common statistic methods using the SASD (Statistic Analysis of Social Data) software, version 1.4.5. The study was focused on the identification and description of the Romany population living in the Czech Republic.
Results: The results indicate that the Romany`s health status is poor. Most of the respondents suffer from one or multiple chronic diseases. A significant correlation between health literacy and health status was also proven. The worse the health status, the lower the health literacy.
Conclusion: The results of our study confirmed the conclusions of a number of international studies that refer to very low health literacy associated with poor health status of the Romany population. It is necessary to make all information available for all the Romany groups. It is also important to increase the interest in prevention and healthy life style and to improve the Romany`s abilities to be oriented in the health care system.
Keywords: Romany minority, health status, health, health literacy
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