Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Winter 1-1-2021


Health literacy is an essential to respond proactively to pandemic situations like Covid-19. It helps the general public to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, prevent from over-reactions, reduce carelessness, adopt health protective behavior. The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of health literacy on fear of Covid-19, protective behavior, and conspiracy beliefs of university students in Pakistan. A cross-sectional survey using an online questionnaire was conducted at two public sector universities in Punjab with permission. A total of 271 received responses were analyzed by applying both descriptive and inferential statistics in SPSS. The results indicated students' gender had a relationship with their health protective behavior indicating that female students were more likely to adopt health protective behavior as compared to male students. Besides, the students' health literacy did not predict their fear of Covid-19 and conspiracy beliefs. However, the health literacy of university students predicted their health protective behavior which meant that the students with better health literacy likely to adopt health protective behavior related to Covid-19 infection. There was a need for promotion of health literacy related to Covid-19 to fight not only the current pandemic situation but also an infodemic associated with it. These results are useful for policymakers, health professionals, university and library administration for promoting health and creating awareness related to Covid-19 pandemic. It would also be helpful in developing useful directions for health literacy programs promoting health education and protective behavior to avoid and management Covid-19 infection. This research would make a worthy addition to existing research on health literacy as limited empirical studies have been conducted so far.