Journal article

Health literacy: health professionals' understandings and their perceptions of barriers that Indigenous patients encounter

Michelle Lambert, Joanne Luke, Bernice Downey, Sue Crengle, Margaret Kelaher, Susan Reid, Janet Smylie



BACKGROUND: Despite the growing interest in health literacy, little research has been done around health professionals' knowledge of health literacy or understandings of the barriers to health literacy that patients face when navigating the health care system. Indigenous peoples in New Zealand (NZ), Canada and Australia experience numerous inequalities in health status and outcomes and international evidence reveals that Indigenous, minority, and socio-economically disadvantaged populations have greater literacy needs. To address concerns in Indigenous health literacy, a two-pronged approach inclusive of both education of health professionals, and structural reform reducing demands the syste..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The research team would like to thank the Indigenous Health Services involved in the study (Ngati Porou Hauroa, Te Hononga O Tamaki Me Hoturoa, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service and De Dwa Da Dehs-Nye > s - Aboriginal Health Centre). We make special mention of their management teams who supported the study and those health services employees who filled critical roles in the research team including Research Coordinators and Local Investigators Jennie Harre Hindmarsh, Marion Hakaraia, Conrad Prince, and Mary Belfrage; Research Nurses - Julia Brooking, Lisa Sami, Taomiau Teremoana and Athena Weber; Community Health Worker - Jade Young and Community Research Support - Lesley Williams, Connie Mc Knight, Alan Brown and Tracy Williams. Additional research team members who contributed to the study development include Marcia Anderson, Nancy Cooper and Matire Harwood. We also acknowledge the support of all the participants and their families/whanau who took the time to be involved in this project. We thank the funders of this project the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australi), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Dr. Smylie was funded by a CIHR new investigator award in knowledge translation at the time of the study.