Poorer health literacy, defined as patients’ ability to access, process, and understand health-based information in order to make medically related decisions, is linked to adverse self-care and disease management outcomes in a variety of medical populations. We investigated the relationship between health literacy, other aspects of cognition, and medication adherence in adult kidney transplant recipients (N= 96). Our results indicated that poorer health literacy, as assessed by a novel measure that is in line with the field’s contemporary understanding of health literacy, is a risk factor for poorer medication adherence even after controlling for the effect of male gender, verbal intelligence, neuropsychological abilities, and everyday problem solving. In contrast, standard measures of health literacy (REALM-T and NVS) were not associated with medication adherence and showed significant associations with verbal intelligence and other aspects of cognition. These findings demonstrate the importance of considering health literacy for medication adherence in kidney transplant recipients.
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Thesis advisor: Thornton, Wendy
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