Effect of health literacy of caregivers on survival rates of patients under palliative care

Metin S., Demirci H., METİN A. T.

SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF CARING SCIENCES, vol.33, no.3, pp.669-676, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/scs.12662
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.669-676


Aim In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of health literacy of the patient caregiver on the care results of palliative care patients. Methods Two hundred and forty-two patients who were hospitalised in palliative care units of seven hospitals in the city in January 2018 were involved in the study. Mortality of the patients was checked 3 months later. A survey interrogating the sociodemographic characteristics of the patients and Turkish translation of Health Literacy Survey - European Union to measure the health literacy level of the caregivers were used. Results About 19.50% of the patient caregivers are in adequate (sufficient/perfect) HL group in term of general HL. Caregivers had difficulty to access information/knowledge of what to do in case of emergency. Prevalence of bedsore occurrence in patients whose caregiver has 'inadequate' HL is higher than patients whose caregiver has 'adequate' HL. Rate of 'inadequate HL' of the caregiver is higher in dead group. As the length of hospitalisation variable value increases 1 unit, risk of mortality decreases 2%. Conclusions Health literacy levels of the individuals dealing with the care of palliative unit patients hospitalised in our region are low. Amelioration of health literacy of the caregivers will have a direct effect on patient health and prevention of complications. Improving health literacy must be a priority target for a more quality patient care and less complication. The issues that caregivers felt themselves insufficient should be addressed and necessary actions should be taken in the identified issues.