Health Literacy of Young Adults [18-25 years old] from the Perspective of Emergency Department Presentations

Mr Ed Davis

Research demonstrates the complexity of measuring and understanding health literacy (HL) with young adult [YA] health literacy in particular being little understood. However research does highlight low HL is tied to increased capital expenditure and over utilisation of health services; specifically, front line services such as the Emergency Department.

To improve the health literacy responsiveness of the Emergency Department for young adults through:

Assessing the health literacy of young adults that present to a regional Emergency Department [ED] through the novel use of a contemporary health literacy assessment tool; and
Assessing the HL knowledge and skills of staff within the Emergency Department.

33 young adults that presented to a regional ED consented to participate in HL data collection by 15 volunteer staff using the Conversational Health Assessment Tool [CHAT]. Confidence levels of the volunteer staff in their understanding of HL were measured pre and post study.

-Key results-
Young adults access and utilise a wide range of resources that support and inform health decision making. They are confident to apply their understanding of health to actively manage their own health. A diverse range of barriers to health do exist; evidence of these barriers is demonstrated through 48% of young adults reporting long standing illness or disability and within this group 30% indicated depression or anxiety as the illness.
Staff were noted to feel confident about HL concepts pre and post study.

Conference Committee

Dr Brian Doyle
Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM)

Bess Swinton & Ryan Posselt
Paramedics Australasia (PA)

Michael Browne
College of Emergency Nursing Australasia (CENA)

Important Dates

Early Bird - June 2018
Conference - 10 - 12 August 2018


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