Understanding Health Literacy of Patients Diagnosed with Heart Failure

Alison Beauchamp, Sharon Meagher, Rhoda Kennedy, Andrea Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: Health literacy is the ability to access, understand and use information to manage health. For patients with heart failure (HF), low health literacy can impact upon self-management of their condition. Understanding the health literacy needs of HF patients enables appropriate targeting of information provision and support. This study aims to understand the health literacy of individuals and to determine health literacy priorities from a patient and HF nurse perspective.

Methods: Using the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ), data were collected from a convenience sample of 60 patients attending two Melbourne-based HF outpatient services. The HLQ provides detailed description of health literacy across nine independent scales. Cluster analysis was undertaken to group patients according to their patterns of HLQ scores (‘profiles’). Short vignettes were written to represent different health literacy profiles and discussed in workshops with HF nurses from each service.

Results: Participant mean age was 69.0 (±15.0) years, 28.3% were female. Lower HLQ scores were seen for scales relating to information provision, namely having sufficient information to manage health, and finding and appraising information. Lower scores were also seen for navigating health services and for actively managing health. Six vignettes were written, representing the range of health literacy profiles evident in the sample. In workshops with 15 HF nurses, locally-relevant solutions to identified health literacy needs were generated.

Conclusions: A multidimensional assessment of HF patients’ health literacy needs can inform development of tailored interventions to improve self-management in this cohort of patients known for their poor treatment adherence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number249
Pages (from-to)S153-S153
Number of pages1
JournalHeart Lung and Circulation
Issue numberSupplement 2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventCardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting 2017 - Perth, Australia
Duration: 10 Aug 201713 Aug 2017

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