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Health Information Literacy Among Irish Adults

Description: Characteristics of a Quantitative Study

Locating an entirely quantitative study is a rather challenging task. As a rule, nursing research tends to embrace a range of issues. As a result, a strong necessity to consider a specific problem from several points of view, including a quantitative and a qualitative one, emerges. Nevertheless, the article chosen for the review can be deemed as quantitative since most of its questions concerned with comparing quantified data.

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Article Introduction: Essential Information

The study chosen for the analysis is titled “Health Information Literacy among Healthy Older Irish Adults” and is a collaborative effort of Anna McCabe and Sheelagh Wickham. The paper was written in February 2016, in the Journal of Nursing and Care, which is a peer-reviewed nursing journal.

Problem and Purpose: Lack of Health Literacy


As the authors indicate, a range of older members of the Irish population suffers from a lack of awareness about the basic concepts of health management. Differently put, the health literacy levels are deplorably low among the identified members of the population (Chesser, Woods, Smothers, & Rogers, 2016). The lack of basic health literacy creates the environment, in which people are exposed to a variety of risks; as a result, the nursing problem mentioned above is getting increasingly large.


The purpose of the study is, therefore, to shed light on the issue and evaluate the effects of a short presentation aimed at removing knowledge barriers in front of the target audience. Differently put, the authors assess the efficacy of a short presentation as a tool for increasing literacy levels among Irish older adults. Moreover, further tools for improving the situation are suggested by the authors of the study.

Literature Review: Determining the Problem Background

McCabe and Wickham conducted a detailed study of the subject matter. First, the concept of health literacy was designed properly. As a result, the background for further analysis was set. More importantly, the definition of health literacy served as the prerequisite for designing the measurement tool that helped locate literacy rates among the Irish older adults and measure them correspondingly.

Also, the problem concerning the lack of health literacy skills among Irish older adults has been studied extensively by McCabe and Wickham (2016). The researchers provide both demographic data, including the percentage of older adults in Ireland, etc., and the factors that affect the lack of health literacy among them. Therefore, the authors created a rather solid foundation for further analysis of the subject matter.

Objectives, Questions, and Hypothesis

As stressed above, the focus of the study was primarily on the ways, in which older Irish adults search the means to educate themselves on health issues. Therefore, the paper is aimed at:

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  • Identifying the circumstances under which the target population seeks the corresponding health information, as well as the tools used in the process of the search;
  • Assessing the degree, to which the target population members are capable of assessing the resources and acquiring the new information regarding the health concerns;
  • Evaluating the levels of health literacy among the target population members by evaluating the accuracy of reading and interpreting the assigned text;
  • Determining the effects of a short health literacy intervention;
  • Determining the correlations between health literacy rates and demographic characteristics.

Study Variables: Dependent and Independent Ones

The health literacy rates among the older adult Irish people can be deemed as the key-dependent variable in the research. The authors attempt at changing the identified variable by creating the environment, in which it is affected by a range of factors. The latter, in their turn, are the independent variables. The health literacy program mentioned above, which was designed specifically to increase people’s awareness about the current health threats and promote a more sensible approach toward managing health issues, is the key independent variable considered in the research.

Research Design: Setting an Experiment

McCabe and Wickham use the program to create an experimental setting in which they can explore opportunities for increasing health literacy. Therefore, the research design can be described as experimental.

Population, Sample, and How They Were Identified

The age (55 years and older), as well as nationality (Irish people), was used as the primary limitation for the choice of the population. The Active Retirement Association (ARA) was used to recruit participants; therefore, the proximity can also be viewed as a study constraint. Adult dyslexia and cognitive impairments were the key exclusion criteria.

Data Collection: A Randomized Test

A randomized test, in general, and a test-re-test approach, in particular, was utilized to retrieve the necessary information from the participants.


The sample size is an essential limitation of the study.


McCabe and Wickham concluded that a significant number of older Irish people have trouble acquiring health literacy. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that healthcare experts should pay more attention to providing the target audience with the necessary information and enabling them to search for the latter independently. The significance of healthcare encounters as the sources for gaining new knowledge and skills was also stressed.

Reference List

Chesser, A. K., Woods, N. K., Smothers, K. S., & Rogers, N. P. (2016). Health literacy and older adults: A systematic review. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 2(1), 1–13.

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McCabe, A., & Wickham, S. (2016). Health information literacy among healthy older Irish adults. Journal of Nursing and Care, 5(2), 333-338. Web.

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