Health literacy barriers and enablers in the stroke rehabilitation

Miss Jaclyn Allwood1, Dr Kylie Murphy1, Dr Lucie Shanahan2

1Charles Sturt University, Thurgoona, Australia, 2Albury Wodonga Health, Wodonga, Australia

Aim: The aim of the first phase of this study is to identify the health literacy barriers and enablers from the perspective of stroke patients during their inpatient rehabilitation at Albury Wodonga Health (AWH). The aim of the second phase is to document how allied health practitioners at AWH work to optimise the health literacy environment for stroke patients, and their ideas regarding how identified barriers can be overcome.

Method: The first phase involves semi-structured in-depth interviews with four stroke patients to explore their experiences. The second phase involves a focus group with 6-8 practitioners in the inpatient rehabilitation unit.

Results: Data collection is currently underway, but the results to be presented will uncover barriers and enablers experienced by stroke patients during their rehabilitation, and practitioner reflections on the patients’ perspectives.

Significance of the findings to allied health: The findings from this research will add to the findings of previous research which suggest that environmental factors important for health literacy vary, depending on the patient group and the disease being treated or action to be taken. This study will identify factors which may apply in other similar health services, and suggest ways in which identified enablers can be achieved and barriers can be overcome.