Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Infect. 2007 Jan;54(1):40-5. Epub 2006 Mar 13.

Health literacy in the field of infectious diseases: the paradigm of brucellosis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Ioannina, Greece.



Treatment outcome for infectious diseases, including brucellosis, may be influenced by patient awareness of the disease itself, as well as by compounding socioeconomic factors. We attempted to evaluate parameters of patient awareness and disease perception in brucellosis and the ways they influence outcome.


We used a specifically developed questionnaire assessing various parameters of patient literacy on brucellosis in 70 patients with a new diagnosis of brucellosis. Patients were assessed by interviewing at the time of diagnosis and during follow-up. Awareness and perception of the disease, willingness for epidemiologic surveillance, mode of referral, treatment preferences, and adherence were evaluated.


Although basic disease awareness is high, willingness to collaborate in epidemiologic surveillance is limited. Patient education may improve adherence to treatment and willingness to undergo surveillance, but may also result in many false referrals for relapse. Level of academic education does not influence the results. Convenience is the major factor when determining treatment preferences.


Improving health literacy may result in improved treatment outcome and improved control of disease incidence. There is a need for constant evaluation of the quality and quantity of information distributed in order to reduce transmission of misinformation and occurrences of public anxiety.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk