Health Literacy and Access to Care.

TitleHealth Literacy and Access to Care.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLevy, HG, Janke, AT
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume21 Suppl 1
Pagination43-50
Date Published2016
ISSN Number1087-0415
KeywordsAging, Health Literacy, Healthcare, Older Adults
Abstract

Despite well-documented links between low health literacy, low rates of health insurance coverage, and poor health outcomes, there has been almost no research on the relationship between low health literacy and self-reported access to care. This study analyzed a large, nationally representative sample of community-dwelling adults ages 50 and older to estimate the relationship between low health literacy and self-reported difficulty obtaining care. We found that individuals with low health literacy were significantly more likely than individuals with adequate health literacy to delay or forgo needed care or to report difficulty finding a provider, even after we controlled for other factors, including health insurance coverage, employment, race/ethnicity, poverty, and general cognitive function. They were also more likely to lack a usual source of care, although this result was only marginally significant after we controlled for other factors. The results show that in addition to any obstacles that low health literacy creates within the context of the clinical encounter, low health literacy also reduces the probability that people get in the door of the health care system in a timely way.

DOI10.1080/10810730.2015.1131776
Alternate JournalJ Health Commun
Citation Key8940
PubMed ID27043757
PubMed Central IDPMC4924568
Grant ListK01 AG034232 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R24 HD041028 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
K01AG034232 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States