Formal education, health literacy and Mini-Mental State Examination

Educação formal, alfabetismo em Saúde e Mini-Exame do Estado Mental

Sonia Maria Dozzi Brucki Letícia Lessa Mansur Maria Teresa Carthery-Goulart Ricardo Nitrini About the authors

Abstract

The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is a widely used screening test for cognitive impairment, but is heavily biased by education. Educational level has frequently been ranked using years of schooling, which may not be a good indirect measure of educational level because there is great heterogeneity in standards of schooling among populations and across regions of the same country. S-TOFHLA is a measure of health literacy with some results indicating that it is a good measure for literacy level.

Objective:

To evaluate the correlations between years of schooling and scores on the S-TOFHLA and the MMSE.

Methods:

Healthy subjects without cognitive impairment were submitted to the S-TOFHLA and the MMSE. Correlations and regression analysis were performed to determine possible associations among variables.

Results:

Both years of schooling and S-TOFHLA scores were strongly correlated with MMSE scores, but the strongest association was reached by the S-TOFHLA (r=0.702, p<0.01), where the S-TOFHLA was the best predictor of MMSE scores (R2=0.494, p<0.001).

Conclusions:

A stronger association between S-TOFHLA scores and MMSE performance was found than between years of education and MMSE scores. This finding justifies further studies incorporating years of schooling together with S-TOFHLA score, to evaluate cognitive performance.

Key words:
literacy; health literacy; functional literacy; S-TOFHLA; education; Mini-Mental State Examination

Resumo

O Mini-Exame do Estado Mental (MEEM) é um teste de rastreio para comprometimento cognitivo largamente utilizado, porém, é fortemente influenciado pela educação. Nível educacional tem sido frequentemente avaliado usando-se o nível de escolaridade, o que pode não ser uma boa medida indireta de nível educacional, porque existe uma grande heterogeneidade entre a escolarização entre populações e mesmo entre regiões de um mesmo país. S-TOFHLA é uma medida de alfabetismo em saúde, com alguns resultados indicando que seja uma boa medida para nível de alfabetismo.

Objetivos:

Avaliar as correlações entre anos de escolarização e os escores no S-TOFHLA e MEEM. Correlações e análise de regressão foram realizadas para determinar possíveis associações entre as variáveis.

Resultados:

Ambos, anos de escolarização e escores no S-TOFHLA, foram fortemente correlacionados aos escores do MEEM, porém, a associação mais forte foi atingida pelo S-TOFHLA (r=0.702, p<0.01) e o S-TOFHLA foi o melhor preditor para os escores do MMSE (R2=0.494, p<0.001).

Conclusões:

Uma associação mais forte foi alcançada entre os escores no S-TOFHLA e MEEM do que os anos de educação alcançados, este achado pode justificar outros estudos com a incorporação dos anos de escolarização junto aos escores no S-TOFHLA para avaliar o desempenho cognitivo.

Palavras-chave:
alfabetismo; alfabetismo em saúde; alfabetismo funcional; S-TOFHLA; Mini-Exame do Estado Mental

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Jan-Mar 2011

History

  • Received
    03 Dec 2010
  • Accepted
    05 Feb 2011
Academia Brasileira de Neurologia, Departamento de Neurologia Cognitiva e Envelhecimento R. Vergueiro, 1353 sl.1404 - Ed. Top Towers Offices, Torre Norte, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, CEP 04101-000, Tel.: +55 11 5084-9463 | +55 11 5083-3876 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
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