Research highlights low health literacy among one-third of people with moderate to severe TBI

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Low wellness literacy is simply a problem for a important proportionality of group pinch mean to terrible traumatic encephalon wounded (TBI), according to investigation published successful The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation (JHTR). The charismatic diary of nan Brain Injury Association of America, JHTR is published successful nan Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. 

Angelle M. Sander, PhD, FACRM, Professor successful nan H. Ben Taub Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation astatine Baylor College of Medicine and Director of TIRR Memorial Hermann's Brain Injury Research Center, and co-authors explicate that Healthy People 2030 describes individual wellness literacy arsenic an individual's expertise to find, understand, and usage accusation astir wellness and wellness services to make well-informed wellness decisions for themselves and/or others. 

They stress that wellness literacy tin effect nan comprehension, assimilation, and utilization of healthcare acquisition and recommendations, and they impulse clinicians to be to wellness literacy erstwhile providing acquisition and recommendations to individuals pinch TBI. 

Nationwide study made usage of a multimedia self-response tool 

As portion of a nationalist multicenter study, nan researchers surveyed 205 individuals pinch analyzable mild, moderate, aliases terrible TBI, 1 to 30 years post-injury. The Health Literacy Assessment Using Talking Touchscreen Technology (HealthLiTT), which incorporates sight, sound, and touch, was administered arsenic an online study to measure wellness literacy. 

For each of 14 questions, participants could publication nan point aliases touch a fastener to perceive nan mobility publication aloud. For immoderate questions, nan subordinate viewed a related image aliases graph. To respond, participants pressed a fastener corresponding to nan reply they believed was correct. 

When a people of 55 was utilized arsenic nan cutoff, 31% of nan sample demonstrated marginal/inadequate wellness literacy. "We are incapable to find whether nan incidence of debased wellness literacy successful our sample was akin [to earlier nan injury], a consequence of nan injury, aliases owed to injury-related impairments (eg, representation changes) exacerbating preexisting debased wellness literacy," nan authors note. "Regardless, nan percent of our sample pinch debased prose wellness literacy was considerably higher than estimates from nan wide (non-TBI) population." 

Certain demographic factors, but not TBI severity, affected wellness literacy 

Adequate wellness literacy was much apt among participants pinch much than a precocious schoolhouse acquisition than those pinch little general acquisition and among non-Hispanic achromatic individuals compared pinch Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black individuals. There was nary important quality successful nan likelihood of having capable wellness literacy for those pinch analyzable mild/moderate wounded compared to those pinch terrible injury. 

Dr. Sander and her colleagues statement that acquisition and race/ethnicity "may beryllium serving arsenic proxies for structural determinants of health, specified arsenic residential segregation influencing acquisition entree and quality, acquisition exclusion, societal class, structural racism, and economical and governmental inequalities that person downstream effects connected nan individual and their life experiences." 

To thief patients pinch TBI amended understand health-related information, nan authors suggest: 

  • Ask patients their preferences for wellness accusation format (visual, verbal, aliases written) 

  • Provide predominant reminders of important wellness accusation and related recommendations 

  • Ask patients to definitive their knowing of nan recommendations successful their ain words 

  • Deliver supplemental instructions via nan e-health portal erstwhile feasible 

  • Involve attraction partners successful cardinal discussions (eg, those astir beingness therapy instructions, medicine adherence, and patient manner behaviors) 

  • Flag marginal/inadequate wellness literacy successful nan physics aesculapian grounds truthful different clinicians tin accommodate their curen readying and diligent education 

In a companion study, led by Dr. Monique Pappadis astatine nan University of Texas Medical Branch astatine Galveston, School of Public and Population Health, it was demonstrated that individuals pinch capable wellness literacy had amended beingness and intelligence wellness outcomes. 


Journal reference:

Pappadis, M. R., et al. (2024). The Relationship of Health Literacy to Health Outcomes Among Individuals With Traumatic Brain Injury: A Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Study. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.