Aim: In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between health literacy and vaccination status in patients with Diabetes Mellitus (DM).
Methods: This research was carried out with 283 volunteer DM patients over the age of 18 who applied to the Bursa Yuksek Ihtisas Training and Research Hospital between November 2017 and January 2018. The Public Health Literacy Knowledge Scale (PHLKS) was applied to the patients.
Results: Of the 283 patients who participated in the study, 239 (84.50%) declared that they did not get vaccinated because they did not have knowledge about vaccinating diabetics. The number of those who stated that they did not get their vaccinations yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated was 11 (3.90%). The number of those who said they did not need to be vaccinated because they were not sick was 10 (3.50%). Cronbach's alpha coefficient for the PHLKS scale was calculated as 0.56. Fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c values were negatively correlated with PHLKS total score (p=0.004 and p=0.046, respectively). The number of hospitalizations in the last 1 year and the PHLKS total score were not related (p=0.137). PHLKS total score was not associated with hepatitis B vaccination, influenza vaccination, or pneumococcal vaccination (p=0.678, p=0.442 and p=0.221, respectively).
Conclusions: The reliability of the PHLKS scale is low. While PHLKS is associated with blood glucose control, it is not associated with administration of the indicated vaccines. We believe that physicians have a greater role in making vaccines available. Relevant physicians should give necessary warnings to protect DM patients from these preventable infectious diseases.