Health literacy screening tools for adults in Kansas

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Barrow, Lamin I.
Chesser, Amy K.

The population of older adults in the United States is projected to reach 71.5 million by 2030. Health literacy has been identified a solid predictor of health outcome. In the Healthy people 2020 proclamation, limited health literacy has been linked to poor health outcomes. Overall health has been defined as the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease of disease or infirmity. The purpose of this study was to validate the health literacy screening tools among older adult population. Specifically, this study included two research questions including: 1) What are the health literacy rates for older adults in this population? And 2), What is the overall health status of older adults? Sixty-four older adults were recruited for this study. Data were collected at various sites from August through December 2015. The study was an assessment of self-report data using a fifty item questionnaire. Surveys were administered in-person by trained members of the research team and recorded using a web-based software application. Results of this study demonstrated that health literacy status was rated adequate at about 93.8% and rated inadequate at about 6.3% among study participants using the STOFHLA. Using the Single Item Screener, the results indicated 35.9% rated inadequate/marginal score, while also rated adequate at 64.1%. In conclusion, health literacy screening tools such as STOFHLA and Single Item Screener might provide important profile about the health literacy capacity of older adults through self-reporting. However, there isthe need for more structured validation of these tools among the older adults.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Public Health Sciences