Type of Resources
As healthcare providers, nurse practitioners are tasked with assuring patients have a clear understanding of their medical health, know how to navigate the healthcare system, and recognize the need to develop self-care skills. Several populations are known to be at risk for the effects of inadequate health literacy; however, the older adult population is at greater risk because of increased burdens related to negative effects of aging on cognitive skills and increased prevalence of chronic disease requiring complex medication regimens. Inadequate health literacy has been linked to increased risk of hospitalizations, emergency room visits, adverse drug reactions and interaction, and increased morbidity and mortality in the older adult population. With over half of older adults identified as having inadequate health literacy, the risk in the older adult population needs to be more adequately addressed. Current health literacy recommendations include the use of universal precautions when assessing for every individual’s understanding of current treatments; however, evidence showed that healthcare providers might not have adequate health literacy education to know how to implement health literacy-sensitive interventions. The older adult population has unique needs regarding health literacy that require adaptations to health literacy-sensitive interventions to best meet this population’s needs. iv To address this gap, the goal of this scholarly project was to develop an educational program, which four nurse practitioners completed, that focused on evidence-based, tangible health literacy-sensitive interventions that would best address the unique needs of the older adult population, specifically addressing medication adherence. The program was developed using the evidence-based Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality Universal Precautions Health Literacy Toolkit (2015) to deliver core health literacy education, helping to identify and address the needs of the older adult population.