PREVALENCE AND RELATED FACTORS OF LIMITED HEALTH LITERACY IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC MUSCULOSKELETAL DISEASES
Tuzun, Emine Handan
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Purpose: Not knowing the dimensions of inadequate health literacy is an important public health issue not just for healthcare professionals but all population. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that politicians see this as an investment and to encourage service to productive resources. It is important to be aware of limited health literacy to develop new and different strategies. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of limited health literacy and to examine the relationship between health readiness and socio-demographic characteristics in patients with chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Methods: A total of 423 patients who have different chronic musculoskeletal disorders were recruited into the study. The level of health literacy was measured using Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine and Newest Vital Sign instruments. The cognitive level of participants was estimated using Mini-Mental Status Examination Test. Results: Approximately 17.3 percent of participants assessed using Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine had limited health literacy. More than 27.2 percent of participants evaluated using the Newest Vital Sign had limited literacy and lower numeracy skills. Conclusion: Limited health literacy and numeracy skills are common in patients who have different chronic musculoskeletal disorders. It is associated with older age, lower level of education, and lower cognitive level. Healthcare literacy can be improved with various strategies in health services, and more successful outcomes can be obtained in treatment.