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Title: Building the case for health literacy in gastroenterology
Author(s): Smith, Graeme Drummond 
Lai, Veronica Ka Wai 
Poon, Sara Wai Sha 
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: MA Healthcare
Journal: Gastrointestinal Nursing 
Volume: 19
Issue: 7
Start page: 26
End page: 30
Living with a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, such as inflammatory bowel disease, can be a very challenging for patients. A range of skills can be required to deal with some of the issues and uncertainties associated with living with a GI disease, including the ability to identify and find appropriate healthcare services for worsening symptoms; communicate concerns to health professionals; understand information pertaining to illness prevention and self-management; weigh up the potential risks and benefits of adherence to complex medication regimes; and comprehend the written instructions on prescribed medication. All of these activities represent important features of the concept of health literacy, involving the ability to read textual information, understand material in forms and documents, deal with issues of numeracy, engage in verbal communication and navigate healthcare services. Although the full impact of health literacy in chronic GI disease remains unknown, lower levels of health literacy have been identified as a potentially modifiable risk factor, related to communication barriers and poorer health-related outcomes in other chronic illnesses. In this clinical review, issues associated with health literacy in chronic GI disease are explored, highlighting the impact of low health literacy in gastroenterology; identifying potential factors of living with low levels of health literacy; and introducing approaches to measurement of health literacy and interventions that can be used by nurses to help improve health literacy in patients. Focus is placed on health literacy related to reading and comprehension of vital GI health-related materials.
DOI: 10.12968/gasn.2021.19.7.26
CIHE Affiliated Publication: Yes
Appears in Collections:HS Publication

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