Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Patient Educ Couns. 2008 Aug;72(2):350-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2008.03.012. Epub 2008 May 6.

Demographic disparities in numeracy among emergency department patients: evidence from two multicenter studies.

Author information

1
Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA. adit.ginde@uchsc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the prevalence and demographic disparities in limited numeracy among emergency department (ED) patients.

METHODS:

We performed two cross-sectional studies of ED patients with sub-critical illness in 2000-2001 and 2006. We enrolled 959 adult patients from 28 EDs in 17 US states and measured numeracy based on four validated questions.

RESULTS:

Rates of correct responses for individual numeracy questions ranged from 15% to 68%; only 11% of participants answered all questions correctly. Several demographic characteristics were independently associated with frequency of correct answers, including age (OR 0.92 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.87-0.97] per (upward arrow) 5 years), race/ethnicity (compared to whites: OR 0.35 for blacks [95%CI, 0.20-0.63]; and OR 0.36 for Hispanics [95%CI, 0.19-0.69]), education (OR 4.74 [95%CI, 2.01-11.14] for high school graduates vs. not), health insurance (OR 1.70 [95%CI, 1.06-2.71] for those with private insurance vs. not), and income (OR 1.13 [95%CI, 1.05-1.22] per (upward arrow) $10,000).

CONCLUSION:

We found a higher prevalence of limited numeracy among ED patients compared to the general population. Significant demographic disparities are consistent with previous observations for general health literacy.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Greater understanding of the high prevalence of limited numeracy may guide healthcare providers to simplify messages and communicate health information more effectively.

PMID:
18462915
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2008.03.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center