Preoperative Instructions, Health Literacy, and Medication Adherence
Lynette Khanna, BSN, RN, Pi Chapter; Titilope Fajuyigbe, BSN, RN, Pi at-Large Chapter
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Health literacy is defined as the “degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (Ammerman et al., 2017, p.542). Patients who do not understand their instructions as it relates to their medications cannot be expected to adhere to a difficult medication regimen. Evidence reveals that interventions aimed at addressing health literacy increased medication compliance. The purpose of this pilot research study was to determine nurses’ beliefs and practices in assessing health literacy and medication adherence in the ambulatory surgical setting. This study utilized a 22-question Qualtrics survey tool. Questions contained in the survey addressed topics related to current assessment practices and nurse demographics. Our findings reveal that 76.5% of participants believe that it is important to assess patient’s literacy when providing preoperative instructions. It was noted that 47.1% of nurses do not assess their patient’s literacy level. A total of 52.9% participants reported that patients with low literacy levels were less likely to comply with preoperative instructions regarding medication adherence. Research confirms that nurses believe that assessing health literacy is important prior to teaching patients about preoperative instructions. The evidence from this research study demonstrated that patient adherence to preoperative medication instructions is reduced in patients with low health literacy. Patients’ health literacy should be assessed when giving perioperative instructions and health literacy resources should be utilized when providing patients with instructions to improve medication adherence.
Ammerman, A., Cene, C., Cummings, D., DeWalt, D., Donahue, K., Garcia, B.,…Tillman, J. (2017). Research paper: The association of health literacy and blood pressure reduction in cohort of patients with hypertension: The heart healthy lenoir trial. Patient Education and Counseling, 100(3), 542-549. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2016.10.015
|Review Type||Peer-review: Single Blind|
|Evidence Level||Literature Review|
|Research Approach||Pilot/Exploratory Study|
|Keywords||Patients' Understanding of Health Instructions;
|CINAHL Subject(s)||Health Literacy--Education;
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