The modern health care sector faces numerous problems that come from the peculiarities of the environment and peoples mentality. Besides, the alteration of food habits, usage of numerous substitutes combined with the high paces of life resulted in the appearance and evolution of chronic diseases which became one of the most threatening health issues. For this reason, a great need for patient-oriented education exists nowadays. In this regard, the following PICO question becomes especially topical:
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In elderly patients with chronic diseases does patient education intervention compared with only medication treatments increase their health knowledge and improve their health statuses
It could be used to distinguish the most important variables, research the issue, and create the basis for the credible conclusion.
Considering the aspects touched upon by this question, we could state that the education intervention and medication treatments are obviously independent variables. These interventions are provided to attain certain alteration of the quality of patients lives and improvement of their health. Additionally, the ways these methods are used, the number of repetitions, the effect, and other showings are strongly fixed. This pattern is explored to monitor the course of the experiment and trace alterations that are triggered by highly restricted amounts of these variables. Additionally, it might help to compare the final result and admit the efficiency of one or another measure.
In this regard, health knowledge and status should be considered dependent variables. The above-mentioned PICO question introduces the research pattern according to which these aspects should be investigated by applying either health education activities or medical treat ments. That is why we could expect alterations of final results preconditioned by the differences in health benefits and effects caused by two different approaches. Considering the fact that both health knowledge and status will not be the same at the beginning and end of the investigation, we could conclude that these might be taken dependent variables investigated in the course of the experiment.
Therefore, the importance of the issue results in the appearance of numerous researches aiming at the significant improvement of its comprehending. For instance, Garcia, Espinoza, Lichtenstein and Hazuda (2013) in their research are sure that “knowing health literacy levels of older patients and their caregivers is important because caregivers assist patients in the administration of medications, manage daily health care tasks, and help make health services utilization decisions” (p. 256). To prove this statement, the authors investigated the existing correlation between Hispanic patients literacy levels and final outcomes and came to the conclusion that the provision of optimal care is possible only in case the information is provided to patients in clear and effective way which is possible only if they have an appropriate level of health knowledge.
Souza et al. (2014) also delve into this very issue and try to investigate the relationship between the level of health literacy and health outcomes in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. Having conducted the research, they come to a conclusion that “patients with inadequate functional health literacy were more likely than patients with adequate functional health literacy to present poor glycaemic control” (p. 1) and that is why they were expected to have better outcomes.
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In this regard, we could conclude that the investigation of the given issue is crucial, as health literacy has an overwhelming impact on patients health and outcomes and it is vital to aim at its further improvement.
Garcia, C. H., Espinoza, S. E., Lichtenstein, M., & Hazuda, H. P. (2013). Health literacy associations between Hispanic elderly patients and their caregivers. Journal of Health Communication, 18(1), 256-272.
Souza, J. G., Apolinario, D., Magaldi, R. M., Busse, A. L., Campora, F., & Jacob-Filho, W. (2014). Functional health literacy and glycaemic control in older adults with type 2 diabetes: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 4(2), 1-8.