Promoting health literacy in patients with diabetes
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Promoting health literacy in patients with diabetes

Ella Stiles Staff nurse, Pagett Ward, Hillingdon Hospital, London

Diabetes mellitus is a complex long-term condition. To achieve best outcomes, patients must have a good understanding of the condition and should adopt a vigilant self-care approach. However, this may be difficult for patients with low health literacy because they may struggle with obtaining, understanding and applying health information. Health literacy encompasses factors such as culture, empowerment, motivation and the quality of the individual’s exchanges with the health system. Nurses’ understanding of health literacy as a concept is key to helping patients achieve self-management of long-term conditions. Health literacy strategies should focus on improving communication between healthcare providers and people with diabetes, providing information in a variety of formats and seeking to improve access to healthcare services. This article suggests how nurses can help people with diabetes improve their health literacy.

Nursing Standard. 26, 8, 35-40. doi: 10.7748/ns2011.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review