A systematic review of the health literacy of adults with lifelong communication disability: Looking beyond accessing and understanding information

Harmony Turnbull, Leigha Dark, Phillippa Carnemolla, Ian Skinner, Bronwyn Hemsley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine the a) extent to which people with lifelong communication disability are included in health literacy research, b) level of health literacy of people with lifelong communication disability, c) methods applied to measure the health literacy of people with lifelong communication disability, d) barriers and facilitators mediating the health literacy of people with lifelong communication disability, and e) outcomes of health literacy interventions for people with lifelong communication disability. Methods: We searched for studies relating to health literacy, people with lifelong communication disability, and key areas of the Sørensen et al. (2012) health literacy model (i.e., accessing, understanding, appraising, applying health information, personal/environmental/systemic barriers and facilitators). Results: Analysis of 60 studies demonstrated that this population is not well represented. Insufficient research exists to inform statements on level of health literacy or methods used to measure health literacy of this population. Barriers and facilitators appear consistent with those applicable to the general population. Health literacy intervention outcomes were variable. Conclusion: Significant gaps exist in the research which has primarily focused on people with intellectual disability accessing and understanding health information. Practice implications: Findings can inform policies, practice, and future research on health literacy and people with lifelong communication disability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

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