197886 Impact of Health Literacy on Patients Receiving Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:30 AM

Debra Jenkins, MSN, RN , Mennonite College of Nursing, Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Elizabeth D. Carlson, RN, PhD , Mennonite College of Nursing, Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Amanda Krueger, BSN, RN , Mayo Clinic-St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester, MN
Marlene Z. Cohen, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine reported that 90 million U.S. adults had health literacy deficits that could translate into negative health outcomes. Health literacy requires that an individual possess a range of skills that allow them to seek out, comprehend, evaluate, and use health information to make informed choices, reduce health risks and increase quality of life. The purpose of this study was to identify health literacy issues within a larger study of patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Data included phenomenological interviews, quantitative measures of symptoms and quality of life indicators (PI, MZC). Participants were recruited from one NCCN institution. Sufficient samplings of persons from three ethnic groups were included to identify any potential cultural differences. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 Caucasian, 20 African-American, and 20 Latino patients each interviewed 5 times over the first 100 days of the HSCT experience. A content analysis approach was used to identify health literacy issues. Findings suggest that as many as 34% of these patient experienced health literacy concerns. While patients with limited education had greater difficulty understanding health care professionals, irrespective of educational levels, patients described signing informed consents without a clear understanding of the HSCT procedure or the chemotherapeutic agents and side effects involved. Further analysis of patient informational materials showed that it was written at a 10th or 12th grade level, far above the recommended reading level. This presentation will discuss these issues and offer suggestions for improving communication among this patient population.

[247 words]

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe health literacy issues in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). 2. Explain conventions of reading level analysis of patient educational materials. 3. Discuss strategies to improve communication based on neuroscientific principles of learning.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Qualitative research as a doctoral student
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.