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- PublicationThe impact of health literacy on health outcomes in individuals with chronic pain: a cross-sectional studyObjective: To establish if health literacy (HL) is linked to poorer outcomes and behaviours in patients with chronic pain. Design: A prospective cross-sectional observational study. Setting: Multidisciplinary out-patient pain clinics in three university teaching hospitals. Patients: New patients (n = 131) referred to the pain clinic with a history of chronic pain (>12 weeks). Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to chronic pain patients attending their first appointment. Those eligible for inclusion were newly referred patients who had pain lasting longer than three months. The questionnaire comprised the following sections: demographics, chronic pain status and disease-related knowledge, quality of life (SF-36), beliefs (Beliefs About Pain Control Questionnaire), and a validated HL tool (Newest Vital Sign). Results: Of the 131 participants recruited, 54% had inadequate HL. The group was subsequently stratified according to HL level. In bivariate analysis, inadequate HL was associated with older age (p < 0.001), being unemployed or retired (p = 0.005), less education (p < 0.001), lower income, increased comorbidities (p = 0.038), being less likely to utilise allied health services (p = 0.001), poorer disease-related knowledge (p = 0.002), and poorer beliefs about pain (p < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, disease-related knowledge (OR 2.5, 95%CI 1.0 to 6.3, p = 0.05) and beliefs about pain (B = −2.3, S.E = 0.9, p = 0.01) remained independently associated with HL. Conclusion: Inadequate HL is prevalent in chronic pain patients, and may impact on the development of certain characteristics necessary for effective self-management.
448Scopus© Citations 12
- PublicationAn investigation of healthcare utilization and its association with levels of health literacy in individuals with chronic painObjective: Chronic pain patients are frequent and recurrent users of health services, which may have an impact on levels of health literacy (HL). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate associations between healthcare utilization and varying levels of HL in individuals with and without chronic pain. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire was distributed in three pain clinics in Dublin, Ireland, comprising a demographic section, a validated HL assessment tool (Newest Vital Sign) and self-reported healthcare utilization in the previous year (i.e., general practitioner [GP] visits, accident and emergency room attendance, hospital services and allied health services). Patients with chronic pain, and a control group (no pain) were recruited. Results: Overall, 262 participants were recruited: those with chronic pain (n = 131) and controls (n = 131). Those in the chronic pain group were more likely to be female (p = 0.004), have less education (p = 0.01), be unable to work (p < 0.001), have a lower monthly income (p = 0.001), be more likely to have a medical card (i.e., free access to public health services) (p = 0.002) and have a greater number of comorbidities (p < 0.0001). Although bivariate analyses demonstrated increased healthcare utilization in chronic pain patients (i.e., GP visits, hospital services and allied therapies; p < 0.05), there was no difference in HL levels between groups in multivariate analysis (chronic pain: 54%, n = 71; control group 49%, n = 64; p = 0.39). Higher educational attainment, greater levels of income and being younger remained independently associated with higher levels of HL. Conclusions: Further research is needed to understand the nature of how HL is acquired, both from individual and organizational perspectives. Once this has been established, it may facilitate the development or advancement of current HL-sensitive management strategies.
278Scopus© Citations 6