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Healthcare systems and professionals are key to improving health literacy in chronic kidney disease


Dinh, HTT and Nguyen, NT and Bonner, A, Healthcare systems and professionals are key to improving health literacy in chronic kidney disease, Journal of Renal Care pp. 1-10. ISSN 1755-6678 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2021 European Dialysis and Transplant Nurses Association/European Renal Care Association

DOI: doi:10.1111/jorc.12395


Background: Comorbidity is prevalent in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and this status burdens one's health literacy skills to understand about their health, make decisions, and to adhere with treatment.

Objectives: To examine health literacy in people with CKD and comorbidities.

Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted between November 2018 and April 2019.

Participants: Convenience sampling recruited 367 adults with CKD and at least one comorbid disease.

Measurements: Data were collected using the 9-domain Health Literacy Questionnaire. Demographic and clinical characteristics were also collected. Charlson Comorbidity Index calculated comorbidity status. Parametric tests were used to distinguish health literacy between various groups.

Results: Participants' average age was 58.8 years, 54.7% had CKD Grade 5, 72.5% had a severe comorbidity index (≥6), and nearly 40% were on haemodialysis. Lower health literacy proportions were found in domains related to Healthcare providers' support (58.3%) and Appraisal of health information (38.4%). Lower levels of education, income, or living in rural areas were each significantly more likely to contribute to lower health literacy levels (range 47 domains). Greater comorbidity severity was also significantly associated with lower health literacy in two domains.

Conclusion: People with CKD had difficulties in various health literacy domains primarily related to communication and critical appraisal. These domains can be improved by healthcare professionals and changes in hospital policies. Due to frequent contact with patients in kidney services, renal clinicians have a crucial role in ensuring greater communication occurs as this will better assist patients to understand their healthcare needs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:health literacy, chronic disease, chronic kidney disease, comorbidity, health literacy, Vietnam
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Dinh, HTT (Dr Thi Thuy Ha Dinh)
ID Code:145634
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2021-07-28
Last Modified:2021-11-10

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