Poor Health Literacy Can Hinder IBD Care and Treatment Compliance, Study Finds

Poor Health Literacy Can Hinder IBD Care and Treatment Compliance, Study Finds
Researchers at Boston Medical Center assessed the impact of poor health literacy on the health outcomes of people with chronic diseases, with a special focus on the clinical care of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Importantly, the researchers also identified deficiencies in medical training, and suggested communication strategies that could help clinicians better educate their patients. The review study, “Understanding Health Literacy and its Impact on Delivering Care to Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease,” was published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. According to the Institute of Medicine, health literacy is as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” Limited health literacy appears to be a problem for large numbers of people, and particularly impacts the management of chronic and typically complex diseases, such as IBD. Previous studies have demonstrated an association between poor health literacy and limited disease knowledge, and poor health outcomes in chronic disease patients, such as an increased risk of hospitalization, increased mortality, and early readmission. It has also been shown that people with poorer health literacy are the least likely to make use of recommended healthcare screenings, preventive healthcare services, and physician visits. Among patients with IBD, l
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