A. Madureira Dias1, A. Andrade2, M. Cunha2, C. Albuquerque2, O. Ribeiro2

1Instituto Politécnico de Viseu (PORTUGAL)
2Escola Superior de Saúde (PORTUGAL)
Health education is an intentional activity leading to learning related to health and disease, producing changes in knowledge and understanding and ways of thinking. However, school education can affect the ability of patients to obtain, process and understand information and services needed to make basic health decisions. Thus the various authors consider that patients who present to have more schooling are more likely to present higher literacy skills in health.

We intend to determine the level of literacy and schooling relating to health literacy of patients users of hypertension.

This study is quantitative, non-experimental, correlational-descriptive and cross-sectional. The questionnaire was conduted in HTA patients attending consultations surveillance in Primary Health Care. The sample consists in 125 patients, 55,2% female, 51,2% having less than 65 years and the majority (68,8%) belong to the age group "elementary school and junior high."

In the matter of the level of health literacy, the study sample has a 91,2% "adequate" health literacy, 5,6% a knowledge "borderline" and 3,2% a knowledge "inadequate". With regard to the subscale "Global Literacy" as it is the global dimension, there are significant differences from the "school education" (p=0,000). In the dimension "Global Literacy" the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults - Short Version (S-TOFHLA), there are statistically significant differences between patients "They can read and write" and the "primary education and Preparatory Cycle" (p = 0.01) and also among those who "they can read and write" and the "Secondary School and Higher Education" (p = 0.00).

The exchange of information is an essential part of care centred on the person because influences the decisions of patients and their behaviour. Research has consistently shown that the understanding of patients relative to their chronic conditions and treatments is positively related to treatment adherence. Therefore, the higher the educational level, the higher the level of literacy in health and the greater the health gains