Characteristics of people with low health literacy on coronary heart disease GP registers in South London: a cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Objective: To explore characteristics associated with, and prevalence of, low health literacy in patients recruited to investigate the role of depression in patients on General Practice (GP) Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) registers (the Up-Beat UK study).

Design: Cross-sectional cohort. The health literacy measure was the Rapid Estimate of Health Literacy in Medicine (REALM). Univariable analyses identified characteristics associated with low health literacy and compared health service use between health literacy statuses. Those variables where there was a statistically significant/borderline significant difference between health literacy statuses were entered into a multivariable model.

Setting: 16 General Practices in South London, UK.

Participants: Inclusion: patients >18 years, registered with a GP and on a GP CHD register. Exclusion: patients temporarily registered.

Primary outcome measure: REALM.

Results: Of the 803 Up-Beat cohort participants, 687 (85.55%) completed the REALM of whom 106 (15.43%) had low health literacy. Twenty-eight participants could not be included in the multivariable analysis due to missing predictor variable data, leaving a sample of 659. The variables remaining in the final model were age, gender, ethnicity, Indices of Multiple Deprivation score, years of education, employment; body mass index and alcohol intake, and anxiety scores (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Univariable analysis also showed that people with low health literacy may have more, and longer, practice nurse consultations than people with adequate health literacy.

Conclusions: There is a disadvantaged group of people on GP CHD registers with low health literacy. The multivariable model showed that patients with low health literacy have significantly higher anxiety levels than people with adequate health literacy. In addition, the univariable analyses show that such patients have more, and longer, consultations with practice nurses. We will collect 4-year longitudinal cohort data to explore the impact of health literacy in people on GP CHD registers and the impact of health literacy on health service use.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001503
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ Open
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • DEPRESSION
  • UK
  • SKILLS
  • PRIMARY-CARE
  • ADULTS

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