The effectiveness of health literacy oriented programs on physical activity behaviour in middle aged and older adults with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review

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Michael Huen Sum Lam
Angela Yee Man Leung *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Angela Yee Man Leung | angleung@hku.hk

Abstract

Health literacy is the first step to self-management of type II diabetes mellitus, of which physical activity is the least compliant behavior. However, no reviews have summarized the effect and the process of interventions of health literacy oriented programs on physical activity behavior among middle aged and older adults with type II diabetes mellitus. This article is the first to examine the effectiveness of health literacy oriented programs on physical activity behavior among middle aged and older adults with type II diabetes mellitus. This systematic review extracted articles from nine electronic databases between 1990 and 2013. Six interventional studies were extracted and reported in accordance with the guidance of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Findings demonstrated that health literacy oriented programs increased the frequency and duration of physical activity among patients with high health literacy. Although some studies effectively improved the health literacy of physical activity, gap in literature remains open for the indistinct and unreliable measurement of physical activity within self-management programs of type II diabetes mellitus, and the questionable cross-culture generalizability of findings. Further studies with well-knit theorybased intervention with respect to patients’ cultural background, duration of intervention and objective measurements are encouraged to elucidate the relationship between health literacy oriented programs and physical activity behavior.

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