Inadequate patient health literacy associated with poorer recovery

A study published in JAMA Surgery examined functional health literacy levels among patients undergoing day surgery and how it affected health outcomes.

Researchers conducted an observational study involving 704 day-surgery patients from October 2015 to July 2016 in Sweden. Of the patients, 60.7 percent reported sufficient functional health literacy, 31.7 percent problematic functional health literacy and 7.7 percent inadequate functional health literacy.

Researchers found poor postoperative recovery rates among both the inadequate and problematic health literacy level groups. The patients with inadequate or problematic health literacy levels had a lower health-related quality of life than the patients with sufficient health literacy levels in terms of EuroQol-visual analog scale scores.

"Health literacy is a relevant factor to consider for optimizing the postoperative recovery in patients undergoing day surgery," study authors concluded.

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