Health literacy, multimorbidity, and patient-perceived treatment burden in individuals with cardiovascular disease. A Danish population-based study

Karina Friis*, Mathias Lasgaard, Marie Hauge Pedersen, Polly Duncan, Helle Terkildsen Maindal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The aim was to investigate the association between: 1) multimorbidity and high treatment burden 2) health literacy and high treatment burden, and 3) the interaction between multimorbidity and health literacy in relation to high treatment burden. 

Methods: We included respondents with cardiovascular disease who participated in a Danish population-based survey from 2017 (N = 2,111). Logistic regression analyses were used to study associations. 

Results: The study showed that multimorbid individuals with cardiovascular disease were more likely to experience a high treatment burden than individuals with cardiovascular disease only (2+ additional conditions OR 4.16 [2.80–6.18]). Also, individuals with difficulties in understanding health information were more likely to report a high treatment burden than individuals who found it easy to understand information about health (OR 9.97 [6.23–15.95]). Finally, individuals with multimorbidity and difficulties in understanding health information had markedly higher odds of experiencing a high treatment burden. 

Conclusion: If individuals find it difficult to understand health information, there is a risk they might feel overwhelmed by the treatment. 

Practice implications: Healthcare professionals should be aware of health literacy challenges in planning medical treatment particularly for patients with both low health literacy levels and multimorbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1932-1938
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume102
Issue number10
Early online date15 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Health literacy
  • Multimorbidity
  • Treatment burden

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