Effects of illiteracy on patient-provider interactions

The purpose of this project is to study the functional literacy of patients presenting for acute care in two geographically and culturally diverse public hospitals (Grady Memorial Hospital, in Atlanta; and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, in Los Angeles). The U.S. Census reports that 27 million adults are functionally illiterate. Health care effects of illiteracy include problems reading prescriptions, keeping appointments, complying with instructions, and paying bills. Under Phase I of this grant the investigators will: (1) develop a survey instrument appropriate for determining literacy in health/compliance skills; (2) sample 3,000 acute care patients using outpatient clinics and emergency rooms; (3) compare the low-literate group with the normal-literate patients; and (4) using focus groups, design and test simple interventions to reduce the impact of low literacy on access and utilization of care. If Phase I is successful, the grantee will return for additional funding to demonstrate and evaluate the utility of the interventions developed.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $752,108.00

Awarded on: 7/23/1992

Time frame: 11/1/1992 - 11/30/1994

Grant Number: 19558


Emory University, School of Medicine

1648 Pierce Drive
Atlanta, 30322-0001


Ruth M. Parker
Project Director