Association of health literacy and diabetes self-management: A systematic review



Publication Details

Dahal, P. & Hosseinzadeh, H. (2019). Association of health literacy and diabetes self-management: A systematic review. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 25 (6), 526-533.


2019 Journal Compilation La Trobe University 2019 Open Access. The purpose of this review is to summarise the existing evidence about the association of health literacy (HL) with type 2 diabetes mellitus self-management. The PubMed, Medline, CINHAL, Scopus and Web of Science databases were searched for randomised control trials of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) self-management and HL published between 2009 and 2018. Fourteen randomised control trials were included in this review. Our findings showed that HL was instrumental in improving diabetes knowledge, physical activity, self-efficacy and quality of life however, its associations with glycaemic control, self-monitoring of blood glucose, foot care and medication adherence was inconclusive. Customized and community-based HL interventions were more efficient compared to patient-focused HL interventions. This review concludes that HL is key for T2DM self-management, but customised, structured and community-based interventions are more likely to yield better outcomes.

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