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Gaps in understanding health and engagement with healthcare providers across common long-term conditions: a population survey of health literacy in 29 473 Danish citizens

Friis, Karina, Lasgaard, Mathias, Osborne, Richard H. and Maindal, Helle T. 2016, Gaps in understanding health and engagement with healthcare providers across common long-term conditions: a population survey of health literacy in 29 473 Danish citizens, BMJ open, vol. 6, no. 1, Article number : e009627, pp. 1-11, doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009627.

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Title Gaps in understanding health and engagement with healthcare providers across common long-term conditions: a population survey of health literacy in 29 473 Danish citizens
Author(s) Friis, Karina
Lasgaard, Mathias
Osborne, Richard H.ORCID iD for Osborne, Richard H. orcid.org/0000-0002-9081-2699
Maindal, Helle T.
Journal name BMJ open
Volume number 6
Issue number 1
Season Article number : e009627
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 2044-6055
Keyword(s) cardiology
mental health
health literacy
healthcare
disease groups
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Medicine, General & Internal
General & Internal Medicine
QUESTIONNAIRE HLQ
WEAKNESSES
OUTCOMES
ADULTS
MODEL
Summary OBJECTIVES: To (1) quantify levels of subjective health literacy in people with long-term health conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, musculoskeletal disorders, cancer and mental disorders) and compare these to levels in the general population and (2) examine the association between health literacy, socioeconomic characteristics and comorbidity in each long-term condition group.

DESIGN: Population-based survey in the Central Denmark Region (n=29,473). MAIN

OUTCOME MEASURES: Health literacy was measured using two scales from the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ): (1) Ability to understand health information and (2) Ability to actively engage with healthcare providers.

RESULTS: People with long-term conditions reported more difficulties than the general population in understanding health information and actively engaging with healthcare providers. Wide variation was found between disease groups, with people with cancer having fewer difficulties and people with mental health disorders having more difficulties in actively engaging with healthcare providers than other long-term condition groups. Having more than one long-term condition was associated with more difficulty in engaging with healthcare providers and understanding health information. People with low levels of education had lower health literacy than people with high levels of education.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with the general population, people with long-term conditions report more difficulties in understanding health information and engaging with healthcare providers. These two dimensions are critical to the provision of patient-centred healthcare and for optimising health outcomes. More effort should be made to respond to the health literacy needs among individuals with long-term conditions, multiple comorbidities and low education levels, to improve health outcomes and to reduce social inequality in health.
Language eng
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009627
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, BMJ Publishing Group
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30080916

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.