Health literacy associations between hispanic elderly patients and their caregivers

Cesar H. Garcia, Sara E. Espinoza, Michael Lichtenstein, Helen P. Hazuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Knowing health literacy levels of older patients and their caregivers is important because caregivers assist patients in the administration of medications, manage daily health care tasks, and help make health services utilization decisions. The authors examined the association of health literacy levels between older Hispanic patients and their caregivers among 174 patient-caregiver dyads enrolled from 3 community clinics and 28 senior centers in San Antonio, Texas. Health literacy was measured using English and Spanish versions of the Short-Test of Functional Health Literacy Assessment and categorized as "low" or "adequate." The largest dyad category (41%) consisted of a caregiver with adequate health literacy and patient with low health literacy. Among the dyads with the same health literacy levels, 28% had adequate health literacy and 24% had low health literacy. It is notable that 7% of dyads consisted of a caregiver with low health literacy and a patient with adequate health literacy. Low health literacy is a concern not only for older Hispanic patients but also for their caregivers. To provide optimal care, clinicians must ensure that information is given to both patients and their caregivers in clear effective ways as it may significantly affect patient health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-272
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 4 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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