Health literacy in the urgent care setting: What factors impact consumer comprehension of health information
Graduate School of Nursing
Health Communication | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Information Literacy | Nursing
BACKGROUND: An increasing number of Americans are using urgent care (UC) clinics due to: improved health insurance coverage, the need to decrease cost, primary care offices with limited appointment availability, and a desire for convenient care. Patients are treated by providers they may not know for episodic illness or injuries while in pain or not feeling well. Treatment instructions and follow-up directions are provided quickly.
PURPOSE: To examine health literacy in the adult UC population and identify patient characteristics associated with health literacy risk.
METHODS: As part of a larger cross-sectional study, UC patients seen between October 2013 and January 2014 completed a demographic questionnaire and the Newest Vital Sign. Descriptive, nonparametric analyses, and a multinomial logistic regression were done to assess health literacy, associated and predictive factors.
RESULTS: A total of 57.5% of 285 participants had adequate health literacy. The likelihood of limited health literacy was associated with increased age (p < .001), less education (p < .001), and lower income (p = .006).
CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Limited health literacy is common in a suburban UC setting, increasing the risk that consumers may not understand vital health information. Clear provider communication and confirmation of comprehension of discharge instructions for self-management is essential to optimize outcomes for UC patients.
Newest Vital Sign, Urgent care, advanced practice nurse, consumer health information, health literacy, nurse practitioners, patient education
DOI of Published Version
J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2017 May;29(5):242-247. doi: 10.1002/2327-6924.12452. Epub 2017 Mar 10. Link to article on publisher's site
Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Alberti, Traci L. and Morris, Nancy S., "Health literacy in the urgent care setting: What factors impact consumer comprehension of health information" (2017). Graduate School of Nursing Publications and Presentations. 91.