Abstract
Background and aim: Self-care is a basic concept in health promotion, regarding the importance of health literacy as a key factor in self-care. This study aimed to identify the relationship between self-care behaviors and health literacy among elderly women in Iran. 
Methods: This descriptive and analytic study was performed between October and December 2015. A total of 360 participants were selected from elderly women referred to health centers. Data was collected by test of functional health literacy in adults (S-TOFHLA) and a checklist for assessment of self-care behaviors, and health information seeking. Data were analyzed by SPSS software (version 22) with One-Way Analysis of Variance, and the Pearson correlation coefficient, t-test and regression test. 
Results: The mean score of functional health literacy was 41.30±6.29. Of the participants, 73.6% had inadequate health literacy, 20.8% borderline health literacy, and 5.6% enough health literacy. The mean score of health information seeking was 1.791. Also, 31.9% of elderly women had poor self-care behaviors, 56.9% moderate, and 11.1% high. A significant difference was observed in mean score of health literacy between different levels of self-care (F=30.087, p<0.001). Based on regression analysis, health literacy and health information seeking predicted 19.9% of the variance of self-care behaviors.
Conclusion: This study highlights the necessity of promoting health literacy and attention to its influencing factors to improve self-care ability of elderly women. In conclusion, Planning interventions to improve health literacy is essential for health promotion among elderly women.

 

 
Keywords: Health literacy, Self-care, Behavior, Information seeking, Elderly

 

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