Levels of health literacy and impact of health education in working adults with disabilities
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Approximately 43% of American adults have inadequate health literacy (HL). This study assessed levels of HL in 70 adults with disabilities who work for Western New York Independent Living, Inc. The brief version of the TOFHLA was used and HL levels of the participants were compared with those of the general population. A general health questionnaire and the Self Rated Abilities for Health Practices Scale (SRAHP) scale were also used to gather data. A majority of participants had adequate HL but poorer health behavior than the general population, moderate general health knowledge, and high self-efficacy. Only health behavior was affected by disability. A one month health education intervention was implemented among 35 participants. Paired t-tests showed a significant increase in general health knowledge scores and the number of participants who started exercising (p<.05). Occupational therapists and other healthcare professionals need to be sensitive to the needs of their clients and should not over or underestimate their HL levels.
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