Literacy critical to heart failure management: a scoping review

Hiba Deek, Leila Itani, Patricia M. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Heart failure is a complex clinical syndrome most commonly encountered among older adults. This complex clinical syndrome is associated with poor health outcomes such as frequent admissions and mortality. These adverse outcomes are commonly associated with poor self-care and lower health literacy. Literacy is a combination of knowledge and skills and often reflected by appropriate interaction with the community, while health literacy is the cognitive and social skills reflected by accessing and comprehending health information and making appropriate health decisions. These decisions are common and challenging to patients with heart failure. Poor outcomes are said to be reduced by adequate self-care, which is associated with health literacy among heart failure patients. Better self-care was also shown to be associated with self-efficacy and self-confidence that were in turn associated with health literacy. Hence, enhancing health literacy among patient with heart failure is critical to enable them to increase control over their disease by better understanding and participating in health care, while being empowered to take part in designing health care services and even tailoring research to serve their needs and consequently improve outcome at the individual and community level. In clinical practice, assessing health literacy, measuring health literacy, and identifying patients at risk of low nutrition literacy is important to enhance health literacy and health outcomes. Hence, developing reliable and valid methods and tools for assessment and developing tailored and targeted interventions is of critical importance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHeart Failure Reviews
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Health literacy
  • Heart failure
  • Literacy
  • Low- and middle-income countries
  • Self-care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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