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Patient education and validating understanding

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Identification of patient’s with lower health numeracy may be important to trigger targeted resources to ensure a valuable experience for both patients and providers.

Of particular interest would be tools with application in a variety of health care contexts that are brief, well-received by patients, and have practical, clinical and scientific utility for providers and researchers.

Numeracy is an important component of literacy, and reflects one’s ability to understand and use numbers in daily life [1].

A growing body of evidence suggests individuals with limited literacy or numeracy skills are less likely to receive preventive health care services [2, 3], and are more likely to experience difficulty following medical instructions [4, 5] understanding health information [6], performing self-care activities [7, 8], and to have worse health outcomes [1, 9] compared to individuals with adequate literacy or numeracy skills.

On average, participants were 55.0±13.8 years old, 64.9% female, 29.8% non-White, and 51.7% had incomes ≤$39K with 14.4±2.9 years of education.

The GHNT-21 and GHNT-6 had acceptable-good internal consistency reliability (KR-20 = 0.87 vs. Both versions were positively associated with income, education, health literacy, objective numeracy, and subjective numeracy (all p Literacy includes a host of skills including print literacy, oral literacy, and quantitative (numeracy) skills.

Trained RAs recruited eligible patients, consented patients who were interested in participation, and conducted individual, in-person interviews to collect demographic information, administer validated measures of health literacy, objective numeracy, subjective numeracy, medication understanding, and medication adherence, and administer the newly developed GHNT.

In an effort to minimize the impact of patients’ health literacy status on their numeracy skills, RAs first verbally administered the Rapid Estimate of Adult Learning in Medicine (REALM) and if a patient scored ≤44 on this instrument (i.e., they were categorized as having low health literacy) the remaining measures were verbally administered.

They are not intended to be used as advice or in place of a consultation with your physician about your health care.

Communication with your personal physician is the best way to seek advice and to make decisions about your health care.

We assessed the GHNT's internal consistency reliability, construct validity, and explored its predictive validity.