A descriptive study of rural women's health literacy about vitamin D
Larson, Jennifer Lynn Doores
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The purpose of this study was to determine women's health literacy about vitamin D. Few studies address rural women's health literacy. As major health decision makers for their families, rural women have influence over the health of rural populations. Vitamin D deficiency is suggested to be associated with chronic diseases such as rickets, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and multiple sclerosis. Therefore, this study was designed to highlight the unique rural women's circumstance surrounding health literacy about vitamin D. Nola Pender's revised Health Promotion Model (HPM) framed this descriptive survey. The survey included a quiz about vitamin D facts, as well as information about vitamin D practices and selected factors outlined by the HPM. In this study, relationships were explored between vitamin D health literacy and rural women's perceived access to health care services, as well as, the HPM selected factors. A sample of 400 women was randomly selected for the mailed survey, yielding a response rate of 41.2% (n = 126). The results showed that the majority of the participants had (a) marginal health literacy about vitamin D, (b) took widely varying amounts of vitamin D, (c) and got their information about vitamin D from their primary care provider, their most trusted source, and (d) reported access to health care services as easy. No significant relationship between access to services and vitamin D health literacy was found. The relationship between vitamin D health literacy and self-efficacy for health promotion was the only factor that showed significance. The study has implications for additional research about the relationship between self-efficacy for health promotion and health literacy of rural women. Additionally, research into rural women's relationships with their primary health care providers, may, in turn, improve rural women's health literacy. Implications for nurses include the importance of (a) obtaining histories about vitamin supplement dosages, (b) providing education about vitamin D; (c) addressing vitamin D and cardiovascular health, (d) and addressing rural women's health literacy needs verbally and through appropriately written material.