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Does Patient-Physician Relationship Affect Health Literacy?: A Research in Sakarya Province

Mahmut Akbolat, Gülcan Kahraman, Gülsün Erigüç, Hakan Sağlam.

AIM: The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between health literacy level and patient-physician relationship in patients with chronic disease. In this context, it is targeted to reveal the impact of health literacy level on the patient-physician relationship.
METHOD: The population of research is consist of patients receiving outpatient services in cardiology and oncology policlinic in Sakarya Üniversitesi Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi. Research was done by face to face survey method on patients with chronic diseases who applied to clinics between March 30 to April 20, 2015. Patient-Physician Relationship Scale, developed by Maly et al. (1998), was used to evaluate the relationship between physicians and patients and Health Literacy Level Scale, developed by Aslantekin and Yumrutaş (2014), was used to assess the health literacy skills of patients. In the analysis of data, made validity and reliability analysis, descriptive statistics, independent samples t test, correlation analysis and path analysis was used.
RESULTS: According to the study findings, functional, communicative and critical literacy levels of participants were low; the patient-doctor relationship has been found at high levels. While communicative literacy levels of patients increase with the age, other dimensions and general health literacy levels decrase. Functional literacy has positive impact and critical literacy has negative impact on the patient-physician relationship; communicative literacy does not have a significant effect on the patient-physician relationship.
CONCLUSION: Health literacy is regarded as significant in respect to ensure effective treatment and understand and implement physician’s advice correctly by patients. For this reason, it is recommended to be conducted such studies for creating awareness.

Key words: Health Literacy, Patient-Physician Relationship, Chronic Diseases

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