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Res Gerontol Nurs. 2010 Jan;3(1):49-60. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20090731-01. Epub 2010 Jan 27.

Health literacy issues among women with visual impairments.

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School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, 1700 Red River, Austin, TX 78701, USA.


The purpose of this secondary analysis using qualitative description was to explore health literacy using the health care experiences of women with permanent visual impairments (VIs). Interviews were analyzed from a sample of 15 community-dwelling women ages 44 to 79 with permanent VIs who had participated in a larger grounded theory study. The 15 women were interviewed twice; the audio-recorded interviews were then transcribed verbatim and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Using the Institute of Medicine's definition of health literacy, the women's experiences were categorized into their ability to obtain, process, and understand health information. Their perceptions of the factors that influenced their health literacy were also explored. The women voiced that barriers to their ability to gain information in a format amenable to their processing skills, combined with barriers arising from health care providers' attitudes, undermined their ability to build health literacy capacity.

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