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

Kimberly A. Kaphingst, Melody S. Goodman, William D. MacMillan, Christopher R. Carpenter, Richard T. Griffey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-225
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume95
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

Keywords

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

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