Assesment of Health Literacy Practices from Adult Learning Perspectives: The Case of Health Care Centers in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of the tudy wa . to investigate into the health literacy practices of health centres of Addis Ababa from adl!lt learning perspectives. T~e study aimed at answering basic research questions with regards to the types of health literacy practices provided, its ' considerations of adult learning perspectives and the major challenges encountered The study participants were randomly selected adult attendees of health literacy lessons and health professionals who provided the health literacy lessons. The study settings were 5 out of the 25 health centres found in Addis Ababa city administration selected through a two stage simple random sampling of lottery technique. Overall, a total of 181 (J 50 adult learners and 31 health professionals) participants took part in the study. As to the selection of adult learners, 75 male and 75 female participants were randomly selected from the 5 health centres, 30 (15 male and 15 female) from each of the health centres. Here, participants were randomly selected based upon the entry criteria: having attended a health literacy lesson at least once the previous year and opting to participate in the study voluntarily. As to selection of health profes ionals, a total of 31 health professionals representing the selected five health centres were randomly selected taking 5 to 7 health professionals from each of the health centres. For the triangulation of the study, a mixed approach was employed comprising both quantitative and qualitative methods. A descriptive survey method was the major approach employed for the study. Hence, questionnaires, interview guides, focus- group discussion guide and an observation checklist were developed and ,employed in the data collection process preceded by a pilot testing. The analysis of the data was performed using quantitative percentage analysis and qualitative thematic analysis. The findings of the study have shown that predominantly oral lecture- based, prevention- oriented and group-based health literacy lessons were provided in the health centres. However, according to the study findings, core adult learning principles were not given due and satisfactory considerations in the implementation of the health literacy lessons in the health centres. Thus, the study results across the main dimensions had shown that the content selection, teaching methodologies, and physical and psychological environment were not in line with core adult learning prinCiples. With regard to the major challenges encountered in the implementation of health literacy lessons, the majority of adult learner participants rated in descending order that there are problems in facilities, teaching methods, competence and commitment of health literacy educators. On the other hand, majority of health professionals pointed out that lack of responsible body to give attention for the follow up, lack of motivation from adult learners' side, lack of readiness and efficiency in health literacy educators' side as major challenges encountered in descending ordllr as among the major challenges observed in the health centres. Clear organizational.' tructure, accountable leadership, facilitation of appealing physical and psychological enllironment, participatory approach in content selection and lesson presentations, the use vf flexible programs and alternative options of mediums in presenting the lessons, facilit .ting resource centers and the provision of in-service trainings on the teaching of adults for health professionals, widening the horizon of the program and the study sphere were the m.ljor recommendations provided



Health Literacy Practices from, Adult Learning Perspectives