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Health literacy HL may be an important determinant of health, but this concept is largely under-researched in Albania, a transitional country in the Western Balkans which is currently undergoing major political and socioeconomic changes. We aimed to assess the sociodemographic distribution of HL in this transitional South Eastern European country aspiring to join the European Union. Spearman's correlation coefficients were used to assess the linear associations between HL indexes with demographic and socioeconomic correlates of study participants.
Overall HL was significantly higher among younger, highly educated and better-off participants. Conversely, no significant differences were noticed regarding sex, employment status or marital status of respondents.
Sociodemographic correlates of HL among Albanian adults showed similar trends with those observed in other former communist countries of Europe. Current findings may help policymakers tailor accordingly future interventions and programs to improve health status of Albanian citizens.
Recent efforts to shed light upon HL and its determinants in these countries are a reflection of the European perspectives and policy agenda oriented to improve the overall wellbeing of its citizens. HL—the ability to obtain, process, understand and translate apply the basic health information into appropriate health decisions—is an essential determinant of health.
In the era of formidable technological progress and real-time information sharing and exchange, the population relies more on the health system rather than on themselves in order to manage health. As regards breadth, evidence about HL in this region is starting to pour mainly from Serbia 11—14 and Kosovo.