Health literacy
medical terms
drug usage
pharmacy students.


Background: Comprehensive misunderstanding about medicine usage is often associated with high treatment risks which have led to unexpected and adverse effects or even death. Many researches assessing health literacy have been undertaken, but only in adults. This study was undertaken to evaluate the level of understanding in students of medical terms and its correlation with gender, grade and parental occupation.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from September to October 2017 with 594 students (28.6% of men and 71.4% of women) of Hanoi University of Pharmacy from freshman to fifth-year students chosen randomly. The knowledge of pharmacy students was assessed by a questionnaire including 25 medical terms. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test were used with p<0.05 as level of statistical significance.

Results: The level of understanding of students was high with most of medical terms reaching over 70% correct answers. A positive significant association between health literacy and education was found with higher knowledge demonstrated in upper years, while there was no difference among students with and without parents belonging to the medical field. Regarding the relation with gender, there was no significant correlation for most medical terms.

Conclusions: Levels of understanding of medical terms in pharmacy students was high, presenting a significant association with education. This study should be extended in order to assess the level of health literacy in various populations, thereby indirect evaluating implementation of medical preventive programs.



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