The purpose of this study was to assess the health literacy rate in Spanish speaking and refugee patients at the University of Utah Health Redwood Clinic. The patient’s health literacy rate was assessed by surveying patients as they picked up prescriptions at the pharmacy within the clinic. With the results, are able to generate solutions to better the communication between provider and patients, improve adherence in patients who are non-English speakers, and improve patient understanding of healthcare and medications. In addition, the results of this study will provide more data to help physicians and health care providers understand that health literacy rates need to be addressed. This study will be a stepping-stone for more reviews to come in Salt Lake City, Utah area addressing the health literacy rates in Spanish-speaking and refugee patient communities. It can illustrate ways to close that gap and help providers improve communication with patients. As a result, patients may go home with less confusion and feel more informed about their medications, their follow up, and any paperwork received upon discharge or leaving the clinic.
Our study design is a descriptive study that assesses the health literacy of Spanish-speaking and refugee patients using data from a validated survey provided to them. The name of the survey is called BRIEF Survey for Health Literacy. We will provide data on these specific patients that can be looked at and compared to national studies or statewide studies. The study surveyed both English and non-English speaking patients. The plan was to collect 100 surveys, but only 41 surveys were completed. The patient survey focused on a participant’s ability to answer specific questions that will help determine their health literacy rate. The factors associated with the outcomes include the patients’ ability to understand what the question is asking, being able to read, and their self-confidence.
Out of the 41 surveys, 16 surveys of them classified in the marginal category and 15 fell in the inadequate category. More than half of the patients were below the adequate category of health literacy. Only 24 % of patients fell in the adequate category meaning 10 out of the 41 patients are confident that they understand written directions whether it is for follow-up appointments, medication instructions, or discharge instructions.
Even though there were 41 surveys collected, this is not a large sample size to generalize the health literacy of all non-English speaking patients within the Redwood clinic. It does give us a small glimpse that most of the people that took these surveys health literacy is not adequate and may need help. We concluded that most of the non-English speaking patients at the Redwood clinic fall in the marginal and inadequate categories, meaning more needs to be done so the translation between health care workers and patients is not lost.Published in