Background Advances in medical technologies and medical services require adequate health literacy from patients in order to improve quality of life. However, health literacy is inadequate in many places and instances, especially in the elderly living in remote areas. Purpose To determine the prevalence of inadequate health literacy in elderly patients suffering from heart failure in Taiwan: to examine the impact of health literacy on self-care and quality of life; and to identify sociodemographic factors associated with health literacy. Methods Ninety-eight individuals were recruited using convenience sampling in a large medical center in Taiwan from May 2011 to May 2012. Four instruments were used in this study: a demographic questionnaire, Taiwan Health Literacy Scale, Self-Care of HF Index V. 6, and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire. Results Findings reveal that 60% of patients with heart failure in this study have inadequate or low health literacy. Conclusion The factors associated with health literacy are hard to change and/or improve; therefore, developing innovative ways to help patients in dealing with their symptoms is needed.
- Heart failure
- Quality of life