Title page for ETD etd-11072006-153104

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Cormier, Catherine M.
URN etd-11072006-153104
Title Health Literacy: The Knowledge and Experiences of Senior Level Baccalaureate Nursing Students
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Joe Kotrlik Committee Chair
Geraldine Johnson Committee Member
Krisanna Machtmes Committee Member
Michael Burnett Committee Member
Tracey Rizzuto Dean's Representative
  • nursing education
  • health literacy
Date of Defense 2006-10-20
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to assess the health literacy knowledge and experiences of senior level baccalaureate nursing students enrolled at state universities in Louisiana. Three hundred and sixty-one students from eight baccalaureate nursing programs agreed to participate in the study.

The Health Literacy Knowledge and Experience Survey (HL-KES) was utilized to measure the health literacy knowledge and experiences of participants. Participants were able to identify low socioeconomic groups as high risk for low health literacy skills and were strongly aware of the consequences associated with low health literacy skills. Knowledge gaps were evident in the following areas: identifying the older adult as a high risk group, health literacy screening, and guidelines for written healthcare information.

A nine-item likert-type scale was utilized to measure health literacy experiences. Responses suggest that participants' health literacy experiences are somewhat limited particularly with regards to assessing the reading level, appropriate use of illustrations, and cultural relevance of healthcare materials. A factor analysis revealed two factors labeled, "Core" and "Technology" that explained 57.15% of the variance in health literacy experiences.

A negatively weak statistically significant relationship existed between health literacy experiences and health literacy knowledge. In addition, multiple regression analysis revealed that Technology Health Literacy Experiences, certification in an area of healthcare, grade point average, age, and ethnicity explained 11.6% of the variance in health literacy scores.

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