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Literature Review of Health Literacy and HIV Treatment Adherence - Thesis Example

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Literature Review of Health Literacy and HIV Treatment Adherence

Health Literacy and HIV/AIDS-----------------------------------------------------------8 5. Why is Treatment Adherence Important for HIV/AIDS-----------------------------10 6. Health Literacy and HIV Treatment Adherence--------------------------------------11 7. Strategies to Improve Treatment Adherence in Low Literacy Subjects-----------15 8. References---------------------------------------------------------------------------------19 Abstract The only effective treatment for HIV/AIDS is regular medication with anti-retroviral therapy (ART). Regularity in timing and dosage of medication is essential not only for the improved health of the subject but also to prevent the emergence of resistant strains of the virus. Non-adherence to the treatment is one of the biggest hurdle in tackling the AIDS pandemic. Among the different factors contributing to non-adherence, health literacy is considered one of the major players. We carried out a literature survey using search terms “ “Health literacy” and HIV”, “Treatment adherence and HIV”, “Literacy and Treatment Adherence” and “Literacy treatment adherence HIV) in the databases of OVID and Pubmed. The relevant articles were reviewed. Any new articles that were encountered amongst these articles in their citations were retrieved and also reviewed. We found that there are a fair number of articles dealing with various aspects of health literacy, educational literacy and HIV/AIDS. However, there are very few articles on interventions designed to improve treatment adherence in low literacy patients. Health Literacy and Treatment Adherence Health Literacy According to Healthy People 2010, health literacy is defined as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions”. Apart from the healthcare aspect, where the focus is on communication between healthcare providers and patients, explaining and obtaining informed consent and managing patient’s treatment regime, an extremely important facet of health literacy is in the field of public health. As per the CDC data, the American patient obtains information and makes his or her treatment decision based on the feedback received from the home or the community, while spending just about an hour a year in the medical care provider’s premises. Health Literacy and Health-Related Behavior and Outcome The Council of Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association states that poor health literacy is “a stronger predictor of a person’s health than age, income, employment status, education level, and race”. The Institute of Medicine reports that nearly half of the US population, about 90 million individuals, have poor health literacy. This culminates into poor understanding of their health status and its treatment, poorer health status, irregularity in dosage consumption, sub-optimal use of health services, inability to understand the do’s and don’t of medication consumption and a higher hospitalization rate. Poor health literacy creates barriers to fully understanding an individual’s health, illness, treatment and medication management. The population at risk includes the elderly (older than 65 years), minorities, immigrants, economically challenged and those suffering from chronic ailments. Not only are these individuals unable to decipher the instructions accompanying ...Show more

Summary

Teachers College, Columbia University Department of Health and Behavior Studies Health Literacy and HIV Treatment Adherence in HIV Patients A Literature Review By Cynthia C Lee, MA, CHES 2/8/2011 Submitted in Fulfillment for the requirements of Master of Science in Health Education Course Advisor Prof Ray Marks TABLE OF CONTENTS 1…
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