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.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Health literacy
- Treatment burden