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Patient Educ Couns. 2014 May;95(2):218-25. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2014.02.005. Epub 2014 Feb 22.

Effect of cognitive dysfunction on the relationship between age and health literacy.

Author information

1
Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA. Electronic address: kaphingstk@wudosis.wustl.edu.
2
Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA.
3
Division of Emergency Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Age is generally an inverse predictor of health literacy. However, the role of cognitive dysfunction among older adults in this relationship is not understood.

METHODS:

We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 446 adult patients in a large urban academic level one trauma center, assessing health literacy and cognitive dysfunction.

RESULTS:

Removing older patients (60 years of age and older) who screened positive for cognitive dysfunction attenuated the relationship between age and health literacy (r=-0.16, p=0.001 vs. r=-0.35, p<0.0001). Older patients screening positive for cognitive dysfunction had significantly lower health literacy than older patients screening negative and patients less than 60 years; health literacy scores did not generally differ significantly between the latter groups.

CONCLUSION:

Much of the relationship between age and health literacy was driven by cognitive dysfunction among a subset of older adults.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Our findings suggest that older patients with cognitive dysfunction have the greatest need for health literacy interventions.

KEYWORDS:

Age; Cognitive dysfunction; Cognitive status; Health literacy; Patient intervention

PMID:
24629836
PMCID:
PMC4172373
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2014.02.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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