Informal Caregivers Health Literacy

Improved Essays
Various researchers have noted that, inadequate medication adherence and dosing errors were observed among informal adult caregivers with marginal health literacy skills. Since people living with HIV are likely to show strong reliance on the support and counselling of informal caregivers, this finding is crucial, even though still little is known about this issue among both researchers and healthcare practitioners. On the one hand, the scientific literature seems to overlook the effects of informal caregivers’ limited health literacy on the health status of the patient, mainly focusing on specific concerns such as caregivers’ adherence to medications. Alternatively, the information needs of informal caregivers living with poor health literacy …show more content…
Cultural beliefs surrounding illness and low health literacy are considered significant to patient understanding and application of health. It has been increasingly documented that inadequate health literacy must be viewed in the broader context of individual factors, language and culture (IOM, 2009), and studies in adults are beginning to explore this relationship. Negative beliefs about medications among patients with chronic illness have been shown to influence patterns of medication adherence, as there were a 2.1 greater odds (95 % CI, 1.3-3.7) of lower medication adherence in patients with higher negative beliefs scores, in comparison to those with lower scores (Gatti, Jacobson, Gazmararian, Schmotzer, & Kripalani, 2009). In HIV-infected adults, mistaken beliefs about HIV-medications were not found to be a mediator of the health literacy adherence relationship (Graham, Bennett, Holmes, & Gross, 2007). Insufficient levels of health literacy have a strong association with socioeconomic factors such as levels of education, race or ethnicity, and age (Paasche-Orlow & Wolf, 2007). Hence, individuals belonging to subordinated groups or ethnic backgrounds who may have limitations associated with their formal education, including limited literacy levels, and cultural and linguistic barriers often have difficulty comprehending and adhering to written health care information (Corbie-Smith, Thomas, Williams, &

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