The Importance Of Health Literacy In Healthcare And The Identification Of Low Health Literacy In A Spanish Speaking Population

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Haley Skye Davidson (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Adam Hege

Abstract: Introduction: This thesis determines the importance of health literacy in a modern healthcare setting, discussing how the Spanish-speaking population is disproportionately represented by low health literacy. It shows the connections between low health literacy and health outcomes, all giving reason to conduct a research study identifying low health literacy among a Spanish-speaking population in a healthcare clinic. Methods: A questionnaire was constructed with a combination of validated survey questions, and some not, to explore different domains of literacy and health literacy. 25 participants were surveyed at the front desk of a clinic. Results: The different sections of the survey produced inconsistent rates of response. The two core questions had high rates of response, on the first core question about general literacy, 79.1% of participants reported a low level of English proficiency. On the second core question about health literacy, 75% of participants reported low health literacy. Discussion: The goal of this study was achieved, identifying a high rate of low health literacy, with 75% of the participants self-reporting a health literacy rate categorized as low. Due to the varying validity of individual questions, the study could be improved by validating the entire questionnaire prior to conducting the study, and increasing the sample size. This literature review and study recommends future research about health literacy rates of providers and communication abilities, and differences in terminology within different Spanish dialects.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Davidson, H. (2020). The Importance Of Health Literacy In Healthcare And The Identification Of Low Health Literacy In A Spanish Speaking Population. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
health literacy, Spanish speaking, equitable healthcare, patient-centered communication, public health

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