Background: Due to the great importance of health literacy during pregnancy and its direct impact on the health of the mother and her child, this study aimed to evaluate the health literacy of pregnant women in a semi-urban area, Kuhdasht county, located in western Iran and to investigate its associated factors.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted on 300 pregnant mothers referred to a governmental prenatal care center in Kuhdasht county, Iran, in 2019. Data collection tools included a demographic form and the Persian version of the Maternal Health Literacy and Pregnancy Outcome Questionnaire (MHLAPQ). Collected data were then analyzed through SPSS software version 22 using the Pearson correlation test and Multiple linear regression analysis.
Results: The mean score for the maternal health literacy dimension was 58.38±8.87 (out of 70), and it was 47.20±6.22 (out of 60) for the pregnancy outcome dimension. This indicates that the current pregnant women had adequate health literacy and pregnancy outcome. Further, there was a significant relationship between maternal health literacy and pregnancy outcome (r=0.58, P=0.001). Moreover, multiple linear regression results indicated that age, occupation, education, ferrous sulfate uptake, history of abortion, frequency of pregnancy, the trimester for prenatal care initiation, and birth weight of infants could not significantly predict health literacy in women (P>0.05).
Conclusion: The health literacy level of pregnant women in Kuhdasht county, Iran, is adequate but not high. Accordingly, it is necessary to further consider maternal health literacy in socio-economic and health planning due to its effect on the health of the child and mother.