A1 Journal article (refereed)
Coronavirus-related health literacy and perceived restrictiveness of protective measures among community-dwelling older persons in Finland (2021)

Eronen, J., Paakkari, L., Portegijs, E., & Rantanen, T. (2021). Coronavirus-related health literacy and perceived restrictiveness of protective measures among community-dwelling older persons in Finland. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 33(8), 2345-2353. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-021-01928-6

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsEronen, Johanna; Paakkari, Leena; Portegijs, Erja; Rantanen, Taina

Journal or seriesAging Clinical and Experimental Research



Publication year2021

Publication date07/07/2021


Issue number8

Pages range2345-2353

PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77056


Older people with limited health literacy may encounter difficulties in finding relevant information on COVID-19, understanding its relevance, and complying with recommended protective measures. Complying with such recommendations has required older as well as younger persons to change their daily lives in ways that have reduced their opportunities for engaging in many activities meaningful to them.

To find out from what sources older people have obtained information on protective measures, the level of their coronavirus-related health literacy (CHL), and whether CHL is associated with their perceptions of the restrictiveness of coronavirus-related protective measures.

696 Finnish men and women aged over 77 answered a mailed questionnaire on their CHL, sources of information and perceptions of the restrictiveness of the recommended protective measures. The association of CHL with perceived restrictiveness was studied using multinomial logistic regression analysis.

Television and newspapers were the most frequently reported sources of information. Reporting high confidence in the ability to assess how one’s behavior influences coronavirus infection risk was associated with higher odds of perceiving the protective measures to be highly restrictive, when controlling for age, gender, and difficulty in using digital devices (OR 3.21, 95% CI 1.09, 9.46).

Participants who reported being highly confident about their ability to appraise the influence of their behavior on their susceptibility to coronavirus infection were more likely to perceive that the recommended protective measures had restricted their daily lives.

Health literacy plays a role in complying with recommended restrictions.

Keywordsolder peopleelderlyhealth literacyhealth behaviourcommunicable diseasesCOVID-19information sourcesprotecting oneselfgerontology

Free keywordsaging; health promotion; gerontology; COVID-19; participation

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 19:47