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Exploring the association between oral health literacy and alexithymia
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Physiology.
2015 (English)In: Community Dental Health, ISSN 0265-539X, Vol. 32, no 3, 143-147 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Low health literacy and alexithymia have separately been emphasized as barriers to patient-practitioner communication, but the association between the two concepts has not been explored. Objective: To test the hypothesis that low oral health literacy and alexithymia are associated. Method: Adults (n=127) aged 21-80 years (56% women) participated in this cross-sectional study. Oral health literacy was assessed using the interview-based Adult Health Literacy Instrument for Dentistry (AHLID) with scores from 1-5. The self-administered Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) was used to assess three distinct TAS-20 factors and TAS-20 total score. Results: Significant negative correlations between AHLID scores and TAS-20 factors 2, 3 and TAS-20 total score were found. Regression analyses showed that TAS-20 factor 3, externally-oriented thinking (beta=-0.21, SE=0.02, p=0.017), and TAS-20 total score (beta=-0.18, SE=0.01, p=0.036) were significant predictors of AHLID level. Conclusion: The hypothesis that low oral health literacy is associated with alexithymia was supported. This finding proposes that alexithymia may be considered as a possible factor for low oral health literacy. However, the correlations are not strong, and the results should be regarded as a first step to provide evidence with additional research on this topic being needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 32, no 3, 143-147 p.
Keyword [en]
alexithymia, health literacy, oral health literacy, patient-practitioner communication, personality, rway
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114038DOI: 10.1922/CDH_3637Stein05ISI: 000366754600004PubMedID: 26513848OAI: diva2:892673
Available from: 2016-01-11 Created: 2016-01-11 Last updated: 2016-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Bergdahl, Jan
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