Elite Research Scholarships

Health Literarcy

Health literacy of older people living in rural Tasmania

The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that Tasmanians have the lowest level of health literacy among all the states and territories of Australia. Other research has also reported that older people generally have lower levels of health literacy, and that this results in difficulties communicating with health professionals, higher rates of accident and emergency visits and hospitalisations, poor chronic disease management, medication errors and lower uptake of preventative interventions.

A mix of qualitative and quantitative methods are proposed to examine the aspects and levels of health literacy of older Tasmanians living in rural communities, particularly those who are living with, or at-risk of, chronic illnesses. This study is expected to find answers to the following questions:

  • What are the views of Tasmanian health professionals on health literacy?
  • What are main aspects and levels of health literacy that are of great significance to the health and wellbeing of older Tasmanians living in rural communities?
  • How are health problems indirectly and directly related to poor health literacy?
  • What are the useful strategies for improving health literacy of older Tasmanians living in rural communities?
  • What strategies should be used to enhance the health literacy of older Tasmanians living in rural communities?

Two categories of participants are targeted in this study: older Tasmanians living in rural communities and health professionals working in Tasmania. Survey, interviews and/or focus groups will be used for data collection.

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More Information:
Contact:

Dr Dr Quynh Lê or A/Professor Tony Barnett or Dr Penny Allen 
University Department of Rural Health, Tasmania
University of Tasmania
Locked Bag 1372
Launceston, 7250
Email: Quynh.Le@utas.edu.au or
Tony.Barnett@utas.edu.au or
Penny.Allen@utas.edu.au

Phone: +61 (03) 6324 4053