Objective To assess health literacy in an adult tertiary care otolaryngology clinic population and to explore potential determinants of inadequate health literacy. Study Design Cross-sectional study. Setting Tertiary care otolaryngology clinic. Subjects and Methods The study population included all adult patients treated at 3 of Stanford University's adult otolaryngology clinic sites between March 1 and 11, 2016. Data were collected via an anonymous questionnaire. Health literacy was assessed with the Brief Health Literacy Screen. Results Ten percent of patients had inadequate health literacy. White race (odds ratio [OR], 0.23) and having English as the primary language (OR, 0.12) were associated with adequate health literacy, while high school or lower level of education (OR, 3.2) was associated with inadequate health literacy. Age, sex, and Hispanic ethnicity were not associated with health literacy. Conclusion Our study highlights the need for health literacy screening in the otolaryngology clinic setting and identifies sociodemographic risk factors for inadequate health literacy. Further studies are needed to assess the impact of health literacy on patient outcomes and to test specific interventions to address health literacy and health outcomes.
- health disparities
- health literacy
- social determinants of health