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Correspondence |

Health Literacy Influences Self-Management Behavior in AsthmaHealth Literacy and Asthma FREE TO VIEW

Sujeev S. Bains, MD; Sonia N. Bains, MD
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Internal Medicine (Dr S. S. Bains), and the Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care Medicine, Allergy and Sleep Medicine (Dr S. N. Bains), Medical University of South Carolina.

Correspondence to: Sujeev S. Bains, MD, Medical University of South Carolina, 135 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29425; e-mail: ssbains@aol.com


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The authors have reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2012;142(6):1687. doi:10.1378/chest.12-0578
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To the Editor:

The interesting study by Patel et al1 in an issue of CHEST (November 2012) demonstrated that asthma self-management strategies, patient-physician communication, and patient satisfaction were lower among female individuals who did not have an asthma action plan. Therefore, Patel et al1 concluded that the use of asthma action plans may enhance clinical-patient relationships and self-management efforts in patients with asthma. Of note, the authors did not measure the participants’ health literacy status in their analysis. In their study, Patel et al1 did measure educational attainment; however, Williams et al2 showed that years of schooling do not necessarily predict reading ability. Furthermore, studies indicate that lower health literacy is associated with lower satisfaction with asthma status, a lower likelihood of participation in asthma management, and poor metered dose inhaler skills.2,3 Studies also suggest that low health literacy may serve as a potential mediator of poor patient-physician communication.4,5 Given this possible limitation, future studies should consider measuring health literacy status when ascertaining self-management behavior and patient-physician communication when dealing with chronic illnesses such as asthma.

Patel MR, Valerio MA, Sanders G, Thomas LJ, Clark NM. Asthma action plans and patient satisfaction among women with asthma. Chest. 2012;142(5):1143-1149.
 
Williams MV, Baker DW, Honig EG, Lee TM, Nowlan A. Inadequate literacy is a barrier to asthma knowledge and self-care. Chest. 1998;114(4):1008-1015. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Mancuso CA, Rincon M. Asthma patients’ assessments of health care and medical decision making: the role of health literacy. J Asthma. 2006;43(1):41-44. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Sudore RL, Landefeld CS, Pérez-Stable EJ, Bibbins-Domingo K, Williams BA, Schillinger D. Unraveling the relationship between literacy, language proficiency, and patient-physician communication. Patient Educ Couns. 2009;75(3):398-402. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Kripalani S, Jacobson TA, Mugalla IC, Cawthon CR, Niesner KJ, Vaccarino V. Health literacy and the quality of physician-patient communication during hospitalization. J Hosp Med. 2010;5(5):269-275. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 

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References

Patel MR, Valerio MA, Sanders G, Thomas LJ, Clark NM. Asthma action plans and patient satisfaction among women with asthma. Chest. 2012;142(5):1143-1149.
 
Williams MV, Baker DW, Honig EG, Lee TM, Nowlan A. Inadequate literacy is a barrier to asthma knowledge and self-care. Chest. 1998;114(4):1008-1015. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Mancuso CA, Rincon M. Asthma patients’ assessments of health care and medical decision making: the role of health literacy. J Asthma. 2006;43(1):41-44. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Sudore RL, Landefeld CS, Pérez-Stable EJ, Bibbins-Domingo K, Williams BA, Schillinger D. Unraveling the relationship between literacy, language proficiency, and patient-physician communication. Patient Educ Couns. 2009;75(3):398-402. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Kripalani S, Jacobson TA, Mugalla IC, Cawthon CR, Niesner KJ, Vaccarino V. Health literacy and the quality of physician-patient communication during hospitalization. J Hosp Med. 2010;5(5):269-275. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
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