Assessing health literacy in a routine healthcare environment

Duell, Paul (2018) Assessing health literacy in a routine healthcare environment. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Health literacy, patient assessment, health knowledge, patient engagement, healthcare environments, heuristics, pharmacist decision making, health literacy indicators.
Individuals with limited health literacy ability have poorer health outcomes compared with individuals with adequate health literacy. Health literacy ability is not assessed in routine healthcare environments in the UK. The objective of the thesis is to assess how healthcare professionals could identify an individual’s health literacy ability in daily practice.
A systematic review of existing health literacy assessment instruments was undertaken to identify the optimal health literacy instrument for use in a clinical setting. The selected health literacy instrument was evaluated in a community pharmacy setting to provide an early indication of the feasibility for regular use. A theory based heuristic assessment instrument was developed and piloted as an alternative instrument for use in routine practice.
The systematic review identified the NVS instrument to be the most practical health literacy instrument to use. However, the early findings when used in practice indicated that there were barriers that could limit use. The preliminary findings of a heuristic assessment instrument indicate that recall of written potentially could be used.
At present, there is no accepted practice to identify an individual’s health literacy ability in UK healthcare. Further research, with a larger sample size, into the use of heuristic indicators could identify a simple process to accurately assess health literacy ability that can be used in routine healthcare environments. Further work is also required to formulate more structured guidance on how to use the heuristic in consistent way so that the predictive ability demonstrated by the experienced pharmacists can be replicated by all.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Pharmacy
Depositing User: Bruce Beckett
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 14:06
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2018 14:06

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