Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many dialysis patients may not understand important health information, study finds

Date:
May 5, 2011
Source:
American Society of Nephrology
Summary:
Many patients on dialysis may not understand medical information critical to their well-being, according to a new study. The results suggest that clinicians must understand and address the limited health literacy of patients with kidney disease.

Many patients on dialysis may not understand medical information critical to their wellbeing, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). The results suggest that clinicians must understand and address the limited health literacy of patients with kidney disease.

Related Articles


Patients with limited health literacy -- the ability to obtain, process, and understand health information in order to make appropriate health decisions -- may not fully understand written medical information, may not be able to communicate effectively with healthcare providers, or navigate the increasingly complex healthcare system. Studies suggest that limited health literacy may negatively affect patients' wellbeing and increase healthcare costs.

Health literacy is particularly important for kidney patients undergoing dialysis. They must attend treatment sessions several days a week, follow dietary and fluid restrictions, and adhere to complex medication regimens, all of which require patients to understand and act on complicated health-related information. Jamie Green, MD (University of Pittsburgh) and her colleagues tested 260 patients on long-term dialysis with a tool that assesses one's ability to read common medical words and lay terms for body parts and illnesses.

The investigators found that 16% of the patients on dialysis (41 of the 260 patients) had limited health literacy. There are currently more than 350,000 patients in the United States on dialysis, so this represents a significant number of individuals who could benefit from being better able to understand and manage their kidney health. While limited health literacy was present in all subgroups of patients, those with lower educational levels, African Americans, and veterans were less likely to effectively obtain and process relevant health information.

Patients with less than a high school education exhibited more than a 12-fold increased risk of low health literacy, and African Americans and veterans had more than a 3-fold increased risk of having limited health literacy. The researchers are currently following these individuals to determine if limited health literacy affects how patients adhere to dialysis treatment, whether they undergo kidney transplantation, and whether they die prematurely.

"We anticipate our findings will increase awareness of the importance of health literacy in patients with kidney disease, stimulate providers to consider literacy when communicating with patients, and lead to future studies to address limitations in health literacy," said Green.

Study co-authors include Maria Mor, PhD, Mary Ann Sevick, Paul Palevsky, MD, Michael Fine, MD, Steven Weisbord, MD (VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and University of Pittsburgh); Anne Marie Shields (VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System); and Robert Arnold, MD (University of Pittsburgh).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Nephrology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jamie A. Green, Maria K. Mor, Anne Marie Shields, Mary Ann Sevick, Paul M. Palevsky, Michael J. Fine, Robert M. Arnold, and Steven D. Weisbord. Prevalence and Demographic and Clinical Associations of Health Literacy in Patients on Maintenance Hemodialysis. Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology, 2011; DOI: 10.2215/CJN.09761110

Cite This Page:

American Society of Nephrology. "Many dialysis patients may not understand important health information, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505181531.htm>.
American Society of Nephrology. (2011, May 5). Many dialysis patients may not understand important health information, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505181531.htm
American Society of Nephrology. "Many dialysis patients may not understand important health information, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505181531.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins