Improving Perceptions of Health Literacy Practices and Indicators of Metabolic Syndrome in Adults with Severe Mental Illness
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Type of Work93 pages
ProgramDoctor of Nursing Practice
universal precautions toolkit
Low health literacy is a major problem in the U.S. which can negatively impact health and indicators of metabolic syndrome, particularly in the underserved population of those with severe mental illness. The purpose of this pilot project was to improve the health literacy in persons with mental illness at an outpatient mental health clinic utilizing the AHRQ’s Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit with the goal of improving the indicators of metabolic syndrome. Medical records were reviewed to collect data about metabolic syndrome indicators pre- and post-intervention. Perceptions of health literacy-related practices among clients and clinic staff were also examined. The intervention consisted of a health literacy quality improvement team and implementation of select tools from the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit over a three-month period. Paired-sample t-tests were used to determine differences in metabolic syndrome indicators post-practice changes and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to examine if perceptions in health literacy practices improved among clients and staff. There were no significant differences pre- and post-intervention with regards to improvement in metabolic syndrome indicators (n=18). For the 10 clients completing pre- and post-intervention health literacy surveys, only one item had statistical significance (p=.025). Two items the staff health literacy assessment showed significant improvement (p=.046; p=.041). While the results did not support that the intervention to improve health literacy was associated with improvements in metabolic syndrome indicators in persons with severe mental illness, more research is warranted in larger samples in this understudied population.