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Many kidney disease patients have poor health literacy

Category: Kidney Diseases

Understanding and following all of doctors' orders is particularly important for individuals who have received unhealthy kidney test results. Conditions involving the organ can be very technical and require patients to participate in their own care. However, a new study from University of Pittsburgh researchers shows that many individuals may be unprepared to handle diseases of the kidney.

After surveying 260 patients on long-term dialysis about their knowledge of common medical terms and other more common phrases that relate to the body, the researchers found that 16 percent had very limited health literacy.

This can be a problem, as dialysis patients must follow strict dietary limitations and adhere to complicated medical regimens. Low health literacy may make it difficult for them to achieve optimal care.

The researchers said that they hope their findings will help doctors who provide kidney testing understand the importance of educating their patients on the specifics of treating diseases of the organ. They also urged further study of the ways in which poor health literacy can affect treatment outcomes.

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