Background: Health literacy affects how individuals navigate and make decisions within the healthcare system and has been recognized to influence health behaviours. However, less is known about its associations with health-promoting behaviours amongst Australian migrant populations. This study is an attempt to fill this gap by investigating the level of health literacy and its associations with physical activity, healthy diet, smoking and health services utilization among Australian-Singaporean
Methods: A total of 157 participants were recruited from Singaporean communities living in Sydney metropolitan areas, New South Wales, Australia. Data was collected through a cross-sectional online survey from January 2016 to August 2016.
Results: Most of the respondents were female (56.1%), employed (70.7%) and had lived in Sydney for >5 years (80.3%). About 60% of the participants were inadequately health-literate (Brief Health Literacy Screening Tool score ≤ 16). The level of health literacy varied significantly based on participants’ socioeconomic status. Regression analysis indicated that health literacy was a reliable predictor of health-promoting behaviours including diet, body mass index, smoking and alcohol consumption, physical activity and having a medical check-up.
Conclusions: This study’s findings have significant implications for health policy makers and suggest that health literacy should be encouraged and included in any health-promoting behaviour interventions amongst migrant populations.