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Research project: The design and evaluation of an intervention to improve self-management skills in patients with musculoskeletal disease and low literacy

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This research will conduct a systematic review and qualitative synthesis of the effectiveness of patient education for people with low literacy levels.  The information gathered will be used to design a tailored intervention for this patient group. 

Patients with low literacy levels are more likely to have poor long-term health. Much of the information provided to patients is written at levels that are too high for many patients to access. There is little research that has specifically engaged people with lower-literacy levels, health and educational specialists to evaluate health education material for people with lower-literacy levels and arthritis. This proposal will:

  1. Carry out a systematic and qualitative review of the written and electronic health education information provided to patients with arthritis to see how relevant they are for people with lower-literacy levels.
  2. Explore the information needs, preferences and understandings about communication and management of arthritic conditions with lower-literacy patients with inflammatory arthritis and their health professionals. Should provision of information be found to be lacking then this work will inform the development of a tailored patient education intervention

Effective and appropriate patient education is a key component in the care and management of arthritis.  Currently, many patient education materials require literacy levels that are too high to be easily understood and acted upon by many patients. 

The goals of this proposal are to:

  1. Undertake a systematic review of research into the effectiveness of written and electronic health information, for patients with low literacy skills, with particular reference to arthritis patient education
  2. Conduct a qualitative evidence synthesis of research exploring the perspectives of patients with lower-literacy skills about written and electronic health information
  3. Explore the information needs, preferences and understandings about communication and management of arthritic conditions with lower-literacy patients with inflammatory arthritis, and with health professionals using a linguistic model   
     

Project team

Adams J, Armstrong R, Ballinger C, Lueddeke J, Protheroe J, McCaffery K, Nutbeam D,

 

Project funder

Arthritis Research UK

Associated research themes

Health literacy
Patient education
Musculoskeletal services

Related research groups

Active Living and Rehabilitation
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