4364.0.55.014 - National Health Survey: Health Literacy, 2018  
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Social support for health (Domain 4)

This health literacy domain looks at whether a person’s social system provides them with the support they require in managing their health.

The following items were used to assess this domain[1]:
    • I can get access to several people who understand and support me.
    • When I feel ill, the people around me really understand what I am going through.
    • If I need help, I have plenty of people I can rely on.
    • I have at least one person that can come to medical appointments with me.
    • I have strong support from family or friends.

Selected findings for this domain are provided below:
    • Overall, 25% of people strongly agreed that they had social support for health, and 70% agreed while only 6% of people disagreed or strongly disagreed that they had social support for health.
    • In general, younger people were more likely to strongly agree that they had social support for health than older people. For example, 39% of 18-24 year olds strongly agreed that they had social support for health, compared with 20% of those aged 65 years and over.
    • Households with a higher household income (fifth quintile) were more likely to strongly agree that they have the social support they require in managing their health (29%) than those with lower household income (first quintile – 18%).

Graph Image for Social support for health by equivalised income(a)

Footnote(s): (a) A lower quintile (e.g. the first quintile) indicates lower equivalised household income. A higher quintile (e.g. the fifth quintile) indicates a higher equivalised household income.

Source(s): Health Literacy Survey, 2018

    • People who lived alone were less likely (15%) than couple only households (26%) and couples with dependent children (27%) to strongly agree that they had social support for health.
    • People who spoke English at home were more likely (26%) than those who spoke a language other than English at home (19%) to strongly agree that they had social support for health.
    • People with a profound or severe core activity limitation (15%), as well as people with another disability (19%) were less likely to strongly agree that they had social support for health than people who did not have a disability (27%).
    • Those without a long term health condition were more likely to strongly agree that they had social support for health (29%) than people with 3 or more long-term health conditions (17%).

Endnote


1 The Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ). Copyright 2014 Deakin University. Authors: Richard H Osborne, Rachelle Buchbinder, Roy Batterham, Gerald R Elsworth. No part of the HLQ can be reproduced, copied, altered or translated without the permission of the authors. Further information: rosborne@swin.edu.au.