Challenges and Opportunities: What Can We Learn from Patients Living with Chronic Musculoskeletal Conditions, Health Professionals and Carers about the Concept of Health Literacy Using Qualitative Methods of Inquiry?

Salter, Charlotte, Brainard, Julii, McDaid, Lisa and Loke, Yoon (2014) Challenges and Opportunities: What Can We Learn from Patients Living with Chronic Musculoskeletal Conditions, Health Professionals and Carers about the Concept of Health Literacy Using Qualitative Methods of Inquiry? PLoS One, 9 (11). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

The field of health literacy continues to evolve and concern public health researchers and yet remains a largely overlooked concept elsewhere in the healthcare system. We conducted focus group discussions in England UK, about the concept of health literacy with older patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions (mean age = 73.4 years), carers and health professionals. Our research posed methodological, intellectual and practical challenges. Gaps in conceptualisation and expectations were revealed, reiterating deficiencies in predominant models for understanding health literacy and methodological shortcomings of using focus groups in qualitative research for this topic. Building on this unique insight into what the concept of health literacy meant to participants, we present analysis of our findings on factors perceived to foster and inhibit health literacy and on the issue of responsibility in health literacy. Patients saw health literacy as a result of an inconsistent interactive process and the implications as wide ranging; healthcare professionals had more heterogeneous views. All focus group discussants agreed that health literacy most benefited from good inter-personal communication and partnership. By proposing a needs-based approach to health literacy we offer an alternative way of conceptualising health literacy to help improve the health of older people with chronic conditions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 Salter et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: health literacy ,ageing,qualitative methods,musculoskeletal
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 16:44
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 12:31
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/50897
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112041

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