Conceptualising health literacy from the patient perspective

Jordan, Joanne E., Buchbinder, Rachelle and Osborne, Richard H. 2010, Conceptualising health literacy from the patient perspective, Patient education and counseling, vol. 79, no. 1, pp. 36-42, doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.10.001.

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Title Conceptualising health literacy from the patient perspective
Author(s) Jordan, Joanne E.
Buchbinder, Rachelle
Osborne, Richard H.
Journal name Patient education and counseling
Volume number 79
Issue number 1
Start page 36
End page 42
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2010-04
ISSN 0738-3991
Keyword(s) health literacy
patient-centred care
patient–health professional communication
Summary Objective : A person's health literacy, i.e., their ability to seek, understand and use health information, is a critical determinant of whether they are able to actively participate in their healthcare. The objective of this study was to conceptualise health literacy from the patient perspective.

Methods : Using comprehensive qualitative methods 48 individuals were interviewed across three distinct groups in Australia: those with a chronic condition, the general community and individuals who had recently presented to a metropolitan public hospital emergency department. Purposeful sampling was employed to ensure a range of experiences was captured.

Results : Seven key abilities were identified: knowing when to seek health information; knowing where to seek health information; verbal communication skills; assertiveness; literacy skills; capacity to process and retain information; application skills.

Conclusion : This study identifies key abilities patients identified as critical to seek, understand and utilise information in the healthcare setting. These abilities are not reflected in existing measures for health literacy. Future measures of health literacy could consider incorporating abilities identified in this study and may provide guidance in developing health interventions to assist patients to participate effectively in their health.

Practice implications :
More comprehensive measures to assess patient's health literacy are needed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.pec.2009.10.001
Field of Research 111717 Primary Health Care
Socio Economic Objective 920205 and 920206
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Grant ID NHMRC 400391
Copyright notice ©2009, Elsevier Ireland
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