Rationale and aim: Health literacy (HL) is pivotal for the successful self-management of chronic diseases. Little HL information is currently available in SSc patients; therefore, the present study aims at evaluating the HL levels in an Italian cohort of SSc patients. Methods: SSc patients were enrolled with the support of Italian patient associations, from September 2022 to March 2023. Health literacy characteristics were derived from the Health Literacy Scale European Questionnaire-16 (HLSEU-Q16), consisting of 16 items designed on a four-point Likert scale ranging from “very difficult” to “very easy”, and three HL levels were identified: inadequate HL (0–8 score); problematic HL (9–12 score); and sufficient HL (13–16 score). Results: Enrolled patients (n = 57, mean age = 59 years, SD = 13.2) were mostly female (98.2%), partnered (73.7%), and unemployed or retired (67.9%). Almost half of SSc patients were diagnosed more than 10 years ago, with first symptoms appearing on average 19 years ago (SD 10.5). In 63% of the participants, the overall health literacy skills were inadequate, or problematic, especially in the health care and disease prevention domains. Indeed, 49.2% of the patients declared difficulty in finding information on treatments for illnesses and where to get professional help (42.1%), 47.6% found difficulty in retrieving information on how to manage mental health problems, and 40.4% declared difficulties in judging whether the information on health risks in the media was reliable. Conclusions: Our findings show that SSc patients have inadequate or problematic levels of HL, suggesting the need for periodic screenings to uncover poor health literacy skills and to provide tailored and understandable educational material. This study was not registered.

The Rising Challenge of Poor Health Literacy of Patients with Systemic Sclerosis: Preliminary Data Identify Important Unmet Needs in an Italian Cohort / El Aoufy, Khadija; Melis, Maria Ramona; Iovino, Paolo; Bambi, Stefano; Lorini, Chiara; Bonaccorsi, Guglielmo; Galetti, Ilaria; Garbagnati, Carla; Canziani, Paola; Tonolo, Silvia; Mitola, Marco; Guiducci, Serena; Furst, Daniel E.; Matucci-Cerinic, Marco; Rasero, Laura; Bellando-Randone, Silvia. - In: NURSING REPORTS. - ISSN 2039-4403. - ELETTRONICO. - 14:(2024), pp. 556-565. [10.3390/nursrep14010043]

The Rising Challenge of Poor Health Literacy of Patients with Systemic Sclerosis: Preliminary Data Identify Important Unmet Needs in an Italian Cohort

El Aoufy, Khadija
;
Melis, Maria Ramona;Iovino, Paolo;Bambi, Stefano;Lorini, Chiara;Bonaccorsi, Guglielmo;Guiducci, Serena;Furst, Daniel E.;Matucci-Cerinic, Marco;Rasero, Laura;Bellando-Randone, Silvia
2024

Abstract

Rationale and aim: Health literacy (HL) is pivotal for the successful self-management of chronic diseases. Little HL information is currently available in SSc patients; therefore, the present study aims at evaluating the HL levels in an Italian cohort of SSc patients. Methods: SSc patients were enrolled with the support of Italian patient associations, from September 2022 to March 2023. Health literacy characteristics were derived from the Health Literacy Scale European Questionnaire-16 (HLSEU-Q16), consisting of 16 items designed on a four-point Likert scale ranging from “very difficult” to “very easy”, and three HL levels were identified: inadequate HL (0–8 score); problematic HL (9–12 score); and sufficient HL (13–16 score). Results: Enrolled patients (n = 57, mean age = 59 years, SD = 13.2) were mostly female (98.2%), partnered (73.7%), and unemployed or retired (67.9%). Almost half of SSc patients were diagnosed more than 10 years ago, with first symptoms appearing on average 19 years ago (SD 10.5). In 63% of the participants, the overall health literacy skills were inadequate, or problematic, especially in the health care and disease prevention domains. Indeed, 49.2% of the patients declared difficulty in finding information on treatments for illnesses and where to get professional help (42.1%), 47.6% found difficulty in retrieving information on how to manage mental health problems, and 40.4% declared difficulties in judging whether the information on health risks in the media was reliable. Conclusions: Our findings show that SSc patients have inadequate or problematic levels of HL, suggesting the need for periodic screenings to uncover poor health literacy skills and to provide tailored and understandable educational material. This study was not registered.
2024
14
556
565
Goal 3: Good health and well-being
El Aoufy, Khadija; Melis, Maria Ramona; Iovino, Paolo; Bambi, Stefano; Lorini, Chiara; Bonaccorsi, Guglielmo; Galetti, Ilaria; Garbagnati, Carla; Canziani, Paola; Tonolo, Silvia; Mitola, Marco; Guiducci, Serena; Furst, Daniel E.; Matucci-Cerinic, Marco; Rasero, Laura; Bellando-Randone, Silvia
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1352707
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