Williamson, Christopher Iain (2017) Health Literacy and Chronic Health Management among Older Adults. Masters thesis, Keele University.

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Health literacy is an expanding area of health research which focuses on individuals’ ability to “access, understand, appraise and use information to make decisions about health.” (1) Research has shown the impact health literacy can have on patient morbidity and mortality. Despite efforts to link health literacy with health outcomes (2) (3) there is still a lack of understanding over how health literacy impacts on health outcomes, with specific assessment of the impact of health literacy on the management of chronic health in older people. A systematic review of the current evidence surrounding several proposed mediating factors (Access and Utilization of Health Care; Attitudes; Motivation; Self-Efficacy) was undertaken. This identified limited and inconsistent evidence linking health literacy with all of the proposed mediating factors. Following the systematic review a qualitative study was undertaken to gain a greater understanding of the experiences of older peoples’ access to healthcare, experiences and attitudes to the management of health problems, and how these are influenced by early life experiences. The study also looked to assess barriers older people perceive that prevent them from obtaining healthcare and the views of older people on health problems in later life. Seventeen people were recruited for the study and took part in semi-structured interviews. The thematic analysis of this data identified three key factors that impacted on how participants viewed both health and healthcare: Candidacy, Resilience, and Attitudes. Assessment of these factors demonstrated the influence health literacy had in each area. The findings also demonstrated discrepancies between the results of the Newest Vital Sign score of participants and apparent heath literacy of individuals. The findings strengthened our knowledge of the mediating factors between health literacy and health outcomes, however more work is still required.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2020 12:06
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2020 12:07
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/8921

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