Asthma and COPD patients’ perceived link between health literacy core domains and self-management of their condition


PMID: 32087989   DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2020.02.011

2020 Jul;103(7):1415-1421. Epub 2020 Feb 9.

Iraj Poureslami , Jessica Shum, Roger Goldstein, Samir Gupta, Shawn D Aaron, Kim L Lavoie, Claude Poirier, Saron Kassay, Kassie Starnes, Alizeh Akhtar, J Mark FitzGerald, Canadian Airways Health Literacy Study Group


Objective: Health literacy (HL) is a person’s ability to practically apply a wide range of cognitive and non-cognitive skills, to make health-related decisions. Currently, no tool applies all HL core domains to capture necessary data to measures HL in adult asthma and COPD patients. We endeavored to develop a comprehensive, function-based tool that adequately and accurately measures HL skills of this patient population. We explored the perspectives of patients related to each core HL domain, with an emphasis on self-management practices.

Methods: Sixteen focus groups were conducted (n = 93; 40 asthma and 53 COPD) across Canada. Data was analyzed using NVivo12.

Results: Thirteen subthemes were identified within five HL domains: (a) access: active access; passive access; lack of access; (b) understanding: how to improve understanding; (c) trustworthiness; relevancy and validity of information: pre- and post- application of information; (d) communication: barriers to proper communication; (e) application of information: making health decisions.

Conclusions: Participants provided valuable insight in terms of disease management topics and corresponding items to include in our HL tool.

Practice implications: Involvement of patients from initial stage allowed us to develop a tool that will serve as a first ever developed HL tool for asthma and COPD patient group.