Health literacy and heart failure a systematic review

Maan Isabella Cajita, Tara Rafaela Cajita, Hae Ra Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Background: Low health literacy affects millions of Americans, putting those who are affected at a disadvantage and at risk for poorer health outcomes. Low health literacy can act as a barrier to effective disease self-management; this is especially true for chronic diseases such as heart failure (HF) that require complicated self-care regimens. Purpose: This systematic review examined quantitative research literature published between 1999 and 2014 to explore the role of health literacy among HF patients. The specific aims of the systematic review are to (1) describe the prevalence of low health literacy among HF patients, (2) explore the predictors of low health literacy among HF patients, and (3) discuss the relationship between health literacy and HF self-care and common HF outcomes. Methods: A systematic search of the following databases was conducted, PubMed, CINAHL Plus, Embase, PsycINFO, and Scopus, using relevant keywords and clear inclusion and exclusion criteria. Conclusions: An average of 39% of HF patients have low health literacy. Age, race/ethnicity, years of education, and cognitive function are predictors of health literacy. In addition, adequate health literacy is consistently correlated with higher HF knowledge and higher salt knowledge. Clinical Implications: Considering the prevalence of low health literacy among in the HF population, nurses and healthcare professionals need to recognize the consequences of low health literacy and adopt strategies that could minimize its detrimental effect on the patient's health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016


  • Health outcomes
  • Heart failure
  • Knowledge
  • health literacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Health literacy and heart failure a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this