International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 201–207 | Cite as

Health literacy in a population of primary health-care patients in Belgrade, Serbia

  • Aleksandra Jovic-VranesEmail author
  • Vesna Bjegovic-Mikanovic
  • Jelena Marinkovic
  • Nikola Kocev
Original Article



Our objective was to evaluate the health literacy and its association with sociodemographic variables, the self-perception of health and the presence of chronic conditions in primary health-care patients.


A cluster survey was conducted. A total of 1,500 patients were enrolled. Functional health literacy was measured by the Serbian version of the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults. Chi-square testing and multilevel logistic regression analyses were applied.


We found that health literacy was inadequate and marginal in 436 (32%) and 195 participants (14.4%), respectively, and adequate in 730 participants (53.6%). A better health literacy score was present among the following participants: younger, employed, and those with a high level of education, a good self-perception of health, a good socioeconomic status and no chronic conditions. If, on multilevel analysis, the primary health center and individual variables were included, the probability for adequate health literacy was higher among younger, employed, higher educated and those with no chronic conditions.


Primary health-care patients do not have the literacy skills necessary to function adequately in the health-care environment.


Primary health care Health literacy Serbia 


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleksandra Jovic-Vranes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vesna Bjegovic-Mikanovic
    • 1
  • Jelena Marinkovic
    • 2
  • Nikola Kocev
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Social MedicineMedical School Belgrade UniversityBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Institute of Medical Statistics and InformaticsMedical School Belgrade UniversityBelgradeSerbia

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