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Health literacy of patients on oral anticoagulation treatment- individual and social determinants and effect on health and treatment outcomes

Cabellos-García, A. C., Martínez-Sabater, A., Díaz-Herrera, M. A., Gea-Caballero, V. and Castro-Sanchez, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-3351-9496 (2021). Health literacy of patients on oral anticoagulation treatment- individual and social determinants and effect on health and treatment outcomes. BMC Public Health,


Background: Assessment health literacy in people with cardiovascular health problems would facilitate the development of appropriate health strategies for the care and reduction of complications associated with oral anticoagulation therapy.

Aim: To evaluate the relationship between health literacy and health and treatment outcomes (concordance with oral anticoagulants, Normalized Ratio control and occurrence of complications) in patients with cardiovascular pathology.

Methods: Observational, analytic and cross-sectional study carried out on 252 patients with cardiovascular pathology (atrial fibrillation, flutter or valve prosthesis), aged 50–85 years, accessing primary care services in Valencia (Spain) in 2018–2019. Variables referring to anticoagulant treatment with vitamin K antagonists (years of treatment, adequate control, polypharmacy and occurrence of complications, among others) and health literacy (Health Literacy Questionnaire) were analysed.

Results: All dimensions of health literacy were significantly related to the level of education (p<0.02), social class (p<0.02), an adequate control of acenocoumarol (p<0.001), frequentation of health services (p<0.001), information by patients to health professionals about anticoagulant treatment (p<0.03), emergency care visits (p<0.001) and unscheduled hospital admissions (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Health literacy has a relevant influence on the adequate self-management of anticoagulation treatment and the frequency of complications. The different dimensions that comprise health literacy play an important role, but the “social health support” dimension seems to be essential for such optimal self-management.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Health Literacy, Anticoagulants, Acenocoumarol, Treatment Adherence and Compliance, Self-Management, Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reaction, Health Services
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Nursing
Date available in CRO: 17 Jun 2021 12:23
Date deposited: 17 June 2021
Date of acceptance: 10 June 2021
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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