The association between health literacy and colorectal cancer screening uptake in a publicly funded screening program in Denmark: Cross-sectional study

Colorectal Cancer
19/06/2020

Horshauge PM, et al. Prev Med Rep 2020.

ABSTRACT

There are multiple reasons for not participating in colorectal cancer screening, but the role of health literacy in screening uptake is not well understood. The aims of this study were to determine the association between health literacy and colorectal cancer screening uptake and to explore whether socioeconomic and -demographic characteristics and worry and attitude variables modify this association. In a cross-sectional study, 10,030 53-74-year-old randomly selected citizens resident in


Central Denmark Region received a questionnaire assessing health literacy using the European Health Literacy Survey Short Scale 16-item. Data on colorectal cancer screening uptake were obtained from the Danish Colorectal Cancer Screening database, and socioeconomic and -demographic data were linked from Statistics Denmark. The response rate was 71% (n = 7142). Odds ratio (OR) for uptake was 1.06 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.96, 1.19) for problematic health literacy and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.87, 1.16) for inadequate health literacy, when using adequate health literacy as the reference value. The association was not modified by socioeconomic or -demographic characteristics, worry or attitude. No association was found between health literacy and colorectal cancer screening uptake. Future research needs to clarify which dimensions of health literacy may predict screening uptake and how it is best measured.