Understanding critical health literacy: a concept analysis – 2013 (UK)
Interest in and debates around health literacy have grown over the last two decades and key to the discussions has been the distinction made between basic functional health literacy, communicative/interactive health literacy and critical health literacy. In this study Sykes et al look at the concept of critical health literacy and offer some clarity of definition upon which appropriate theory, well grounded practice and potential measurement tools can be based.
Exploring the pathways to poor health in the ‘hidden population’ with low literacy – 2011 (Scot)
This thesis (358 pages), by Phyllis Easton (University of Dundee), examines the links between poor health and low literacy capabilities. The findings from 25 in-depth interviews and 2 focus groups with adult learners highlighted the various difficulties that people with low literacy face with written and spoken communication in clinical encounters and in self-care activities. Note: this is a large document and may take a few minutes to download.
Parental Functional Health Literacy Relates to Skip Pattern Questionnaire Error and to Child Oral Health [US]
The study by Garrett et al (2012) aimed first to determine if parental dental functional-health-literacy (FHL) is related to child oral health. A secondary aim was to assess if there was a relationship between errors in completing the questionnaire, FHL and child oral health. The results indicated that children of parents with lower FHL had significantly lower objective oral health status. Garrett et al (2012) concluded that a health practitioner can have the best training, manual dexterity, and equipment but it is nearly futile if patients do not understand health care instructions for themselves or their children.
Health Literacy and Depression in the Context of Home Visitation [US]
Health literacy develops through social interaction and reflection and involves an array of skills that enable parents to manage personal and child health and healthcare. Smith and Moore (2011) looked at the impact of depression on parental health literacy and the effect of home visitations on the development of health literacy skills. The authors found that depression is linked with lower parental health literacy, after 1 year of enhanced home visitations, vulnerable parents were better able to manage personal and family health and healthcare, especially if depressed. Enhanced home visitations were found to be an effective intervention that could be used to develop health literacy as a life skill and to improve depression.
Comparison of a one-time educational intervention to a teach-to-goal educational intervention for self-management of heart failure: design of a randomized controlled trial
Heart failure (HF) is common, costly and associated with significant morbidity and poor quality of life, particularly for patients with low socioeconomic status. Self-management training has been shown to reduce HF related morbidity and hospitalisation rates, but there is uncertainty about how best to deliver such training and what patients benefit. This study by DeWalt et al (2009) compares a single session self-management HF training program against a multiple session training intervention and examines whether their effects differ by literacy level.
Health Literacy Among Medicare Enrollees in a Managed Care Organization
The objective of this study by Gazmararian et al (1999) was too determine the prevalence of low functional health literacy among community-dwelling Medicare enrollees in a national managed care organization. The authors conclude that elderly managed care enrollees may not have the literacy skills necessary to function adequately in the health care environment. Low health literacy may impair elderly patients' understanding of health messages and limit their ability to care for their medical problems.
Acceptability of the Talking Touchscreen for Health Literacy Assessment
For this study, Yost et al (2010) adapted the touchscreen for self-administration of a new health literacy measure. Acceptability of the touchscreen did not differ by health literacy level. The Talking Touchscreen was easy to use and acceptable for self-administration of a new health literacy measure. Self-administration should reduce staff burden and costs, interview bias, and feelings of embarrassment by those with lower literacy.
Health Literacy and Communication Quality in Health Care Organizations
In this study, Wynia & Osborn (2010) explored the relationship between health literacy status and receiving patient-centered communication in clinics and hospitals serving communication-vulnerable patient populations. The authors' results suggest that improving communication quality in health care organizations might help to address the challenges facing patients with limited health literacy.
Literacy, Cognitive Ability, and the Retention of Health-Related Information About Colorectal Cancer Screening
This study by Wilson et al (2010) examines the extent to which cognition explains the relationship between literacy and retention of health information. Primary care patients aged 40 to 85 years watched a video about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and then answered knowledge-based questions about the video's content as well as a literacy assessment and cognitive assessments measuring processing speed, working memory, and-long term memory. A week later, available participants completed the knowledge assessment a second time. The authors note that design and intervention strategies for educational tools should consider cognitive factors such as working memory demands in addition to focusing on the readability of materials.
Effects of an eHealth Literacy Intervention for Older Adults
The objective of this study by Xie (2011) was to examine the effects of a theory-driven eHealth literacy intervention for older adults. The findings provide strong evidence that the eHealth literacy intervention tested in this study, regardless of the specific learning method used, significantly improved knowledge, skills, and eHealth literacy efficacy from pre to post intervention, was positively perceived by participants, and led to positive changes in their own health care.