Health Literacy and Health Status in People With Chronic Heart Failure

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The aim of this study was to investigate whether health literacy, self-efficacy, and medication adherence can explain or predict the variance in health outcomes (measured as perceived physical or mental health status [HS]) in persons with chronic heart failure (HF).


A nonexperimental cross-sectional survey study used data gathered from 175 patients with chronic HF from urban cardiology practices in the northeast United States.


The Paasche-Orlow and Wolf Causal Pathways conceptual model and Bandura's self-efficacy theory were used to select and test variables in the study. A demographic questionnaire, the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy, the Self-Efficacy for Appropriate Medication Use Scale, the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale, and the Short Form-12 version 2 assessing perceived physical and mental HS were completed. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses were used to analyze relationships among the variables.


Significant associations between health literacy and self-efficacy and between health literacy and perceived mental HS were found (P < .05). High self-efficacy was the strongest predictor of physical HS (P < .01). The strongest predictor of mental HS was medication adherence (P < .01).


Support of self-efficacy and medication adherence may improve HS. Including health literacy strategies in clinical practice may support improvements in HS in people with chronic HF.

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