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|Wdad Munahie Alanazy|
|Majmaah University, KSA|
|Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Women's Health Care|
|In the history of health and medicine, health literacy is a dramatically new idea and area of activity. Health literacy has been described globally as the leading non-economic, social risk factor linked to patient outcomes. Health literacy builds on the idea that both health and literacy are critical resources for everyday living. Our level of health literacy directly affects our ability to not only act on health information but also to take more control of our health as individuals, families and communities. Improving the health literacy of pregnant women in Saudi Arabia may hold promise in affecting birth outcomes. In order for health literacy interventions to be carefully tested in samples of pregnant women, the relationships among health literacy, pregnancy outcomes, determinants and mediators/moderators need to be more fully understood. Understanding health literacy in the context of pregnancy is especially important for two reasons. First, pregnancy may be the entry point to health care; a woman's level of health literacy can influence how she navigates the complex health care system and deals with the high health information demands associated with pregnancy and prenatal care. Second, a woman's health status and understanding of health information may not only affect her own health, it can also directly impact her children before conception, during pregnancy and during her child's formative years. Research has suggested that health literacy can affect whether a women attend antenatal care and the sequence of pregnancy outcome. However, how health literacy affects this behavior is not clearly understood. Moreover, the majority of the research in this area is undertaken in Western populations. There is a significant issue in Saudi Arabia with pregnant women not attending prenatal care appointments with some arriving at the hospital in labor completely uncooked. Understanding why this arises is important in encouraging and supporting women to access antenatal care. It is probable that both health literacy and health beliefs play a role in women’s decisions. However, none of these studies were conducted in Saudi Arabia as well as other Arab or Gulf countries. This scarcity of knowledge regarding health literacy of Saudi women lights the tunnel for this kind of studies. In Saudi pregnant women, certain pregnancy risk behaviors could be linked to health literacy, but these possible relationships have not been empirically tested with a comprehensive measure of health literacy. With a better understanding of why Saudi women not attending antenatal clinic and the behaviors are associated with health literacy in Saudi women, behavior change interventions can be developed to target health literacy to potentially improve pregnancy health outcomes.|
Wdad Alanazy has completed her Bachelor’s degree from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, Postgraduate Midwifery Diploma from Prince Sultan Medical City in Riyadh and a Master’s degree from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. She is a Lecturer in Majmaah University in Saudi Arabia and was a Clinical Director of maternity building in Prince Sultan Medical City in Riyadh.
Email: [email protected]
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