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Health literacy of recently hospitalised patients: a cross-sectional survey using the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ)

Jessup, Rebecca L., Osborne, Richard H., Beauchamp, Alison, Bourne, Allison and Buchbinder, Rachelle 2017, Health literacy of recently hospitalised patients: a cross-sectional survey using the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ), BMC health services research, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.1186/s12913-016-1973-6.

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Title Health literacy of recently hospitalised patients: a cross-sectional survey using the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ)
Author(s) Jessup, Rebecca L.
Osborne, Richard H.ORCID iD for Osborne, Richard H. orcid.org/0000-0002-9081-2699
Beauchamp, AlisonORCID iD for Beauchamp, Alison orcid.org/0000-0001-6555-6200
Bourne, Allison
Buchbinder, Rachelle
Journal name BMC health services research
Volume number 17
Issue number 1
Article ID 52
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-01-19
ISSN 1472-6963
Keyword(s) Access
Equity
Health literacy
Hospitalisation
Summary Background
Health literacy is simply defined as an individual’s ability to access, understand and use information in ways that promote and maintain good health. Lower health literacy has been found to be associated with increased emergency department presentations and potentially avoidable hospitalisations. This study aimed to determine the health literacy of hospital inpatients, and to examine if associations exist between different dimensions of their health literacy, sociodemographic characteristics and hospital services use.

Methods
A written survey was sent to 3,252 people aged ≥18 years in English, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian or Greek. The survey included demographic and health questions, and the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ). The HLQ is a multidimensional instrument comprising nine independent scales. Use of hospital services was measured by length of stay, number of admissions in 12 months and number of emergency department presentations. Effect size (ES) for standardised differences in means described the magnitude of differences in HLQ scale scores between demographic and socioeconomic groups.

Results
385 questionnaires were returned (13%); mean age 64 years (SD 17), 49% female. Aged ≥65 years (55%), using the Internet < once a month (37%), failure to complete high school (67%), low household income (39%), receiving means-tested government benefits (61%) and being from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background (24%), were all associated with lower scores in some health literacy scales. Being aged ≥65 years, not currently employed, receiving government benefits, and being from a CALD background were also associated with increased use of some hospital services. There was no association between lower scores on any HLQ scale and greater use of hospital services.

Conclusion
We found no association between lower health literacy and greater use of hospital health services. However increased age, having a CALD background and not speaking English at home were all associated with having the most health literacy challenges Strategies to address these are needed to reduce health inequalities.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12913-016-1973-6
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
0807 Library And Information Studies
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30090949

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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.