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Keywords

colorectal cancer screening, health communications, health literacy, Hispanic, Latina, Latino

 

Authors

  1. Christy, Shannon M.
  2. Cousin, Lakeshia A.
  3. Sutton, Steven K.
  4. Chavarria, Enmanuel A.
  5. Abdulla, Rania
  6. Gutierrez, Liliana
  7. Sanchez, Julian
  8. Lopez, Diana
  9. Gwede, Clement K.
  10. Meade, Cathy D.

Abstract

Background: Cultural background, language, and literacy are factors that may affect access, healthcare utilization, and cancer screening behaviors.

 

Objective: This study aimed to characterize health literacy among Spanish-preferring Hispanic/Latino individuals ages 50-75 and examine associations between sociodemographic characteristics, health beliefs, and health literacy.

 

Methods: Participants self-identified as Hispanic/Latino, preferring health information in Spanish, were ages 50-75 years old, at average risk for colorectal cancer (CRC), not up to date with CRC screening, and enrolled in a CRC screening education intervention trial. Sociodemographic characteristics, health beliefs, and health literacy (i.e., difficulty understanding written health information and confidence completing health forms) were assessed at baseline. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were performed.

 

Results: Fifty-three percent of participants reported either sometimes having difficulty or always having difficulty with written health information, and 25% reported always asking for help or being not so confident in completing health forms. Univariate predictors of adequate health literacy for written health information were lower cancer worry and lower religious beliefs. Higher educational attainment predicted confidence in completing health forms.

 

Conclusions: Findings highlight the need for interventions that address health beliefs and health literacy among Hispanic/Latino patients who have low confidence in completing written forms and difficulty understanding written information and reinforce the use of plain language and salient design features when developing patient education materials.