Title

Health literacy in the urgent care setting: What factors impact consumer comprehension of health information

Publication Date

2017-03-10

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Nursing

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Health Communication | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Information Literacy | Nursing

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Newest Vital Sign, Urgent care, advanced practice nurse, consumer health information, health literacy, nurse practitioners, patient education

DOI of Published Version

10.1002/2327-6924.12452

Source

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/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID

28296227

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