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Prog Transplant. 2020 Jan 9:1526924819893285. doi: 10.1177/1526924819893285. [Epub ahead of print]

Identifying Core Variables Associated With Health Literacy in Kidney Transplant Recipients.

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Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Institute of Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Transplantation Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Quality and Health Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.
Research Support Services, Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



A kidney transplantation requires complex self-care skills and adequate follow-up from health-care providers. Identifying strengths and limitations in different aspects of health literacy (HL) and associated variables are central to being able to improve health care. The objective of this study was to identify core variables associated with independent domains of HL 8 weeks following a kidney transplantation.


A single-center cross-sectional study was conducted, wherein 159 kidney transplant recipients answered the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ). Multivariable linear regression with backward elimination was used to investigate variables possibly associated with the 9 domains of HL.


The transplant recipients had the lowest scores in "appraisal of health information" and "navigating the healthcare system." The highest scores were found in "feeling understood and supported by health-care providers" and "ability to actively engage with health-care provider." General perceived self-efficacy, transplant-specific knowledge, and general health were the driving variables in several of the HL domains.


The HLQ provides a more complex picture of strengths and limitations related to HL, as well as important knowledge about vulnerable groups following a kidney transplantation. The study offers an important supplement to the field of HL in kidney transplant care.


health literacy; kidney transplant recipients; kidney transplantation; multiple linear regression; the health literacy questionnaire


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