Skip to main content

Longer Hospital Stay Associated With Low Health Literacy

Medical Team Provider in Home with Senior Patients

According to the Journal of Hospital Medicine, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have determined that low health literacy is linked to hospital length of stay. The investigators studied an in-hospital group of patients from October 2012 and November 2015. The Brief Health Literacy Screen (BHLS) was used to measure health literacy, which included questions regarding confidence in filling out hospital forms, whether help from others is usually sought when reading hospital materials, and how often the respondent has problems learning about their medical condition because of issues in understanding written information. On average, low health literacy patients experienced an 11 percent longer hospital stay than those with adequate health literacy. However, there was a gender difference: men of low health literacy experienced a 17.8 percent longer hospital stay, while women of low health literacy experienced a 7.7 longer stay. Read more at this Clinical Advisor article.