Background: Teachers play a critical role as health promoters. However, relatively little knowledge is available to date about health literacy of pre-service teachers in Iran. Objectives The aim of this study was to determine the health literacy level of pre-service teachers from Farhangian University in Tehran, Iran.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a representative random sample of pre-service teachers stratified by major and gender from May to June 2015. Health literacy was measured using the health literacy for adults (HELIA) questionnaire, with 33 items on the domains of access to health information, reading, understanding, appraisal, and behavioral intention. SPSS version 20 was employed to analyze data using statistics including mean, standard deviation, and frequency, t-test and ANOVA.
Results: In total, 704 pre-service teachers participated in the study. The mean age of the participants was 20.88 ± 1.43 and 65.8% were female. The health literacy score was 66.30 ± 12.66. Inadequate health literacy was found in 7.3% of the participants, problematic health literacy in 43.3%, sufficient health literacy in 38.5%, and excellent health literacy in 10.9%. Health literacy was significantly associated with age, gender, and marital status.
Conclusions: As the high prevalence of limited health literacy in teachers is a barrier to enhancing the health literacy of students at schools, there is a need to design, implement, and evaluate different educational interventions to address health literacy among pre-service teachers.