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The purpose of this study was to determine the level of functional health literacy in a sample of patients treated in 1of our 5 primary care clinics. A total of 92 randomly selected adults (mean age = 59 years) completed the TOFHLA while waiting for a scheduled appointment. Twenty eight percent of the sample had less than adequate levels of functional health literacy. Income, car ownership and education were significant and independent predictors of literacy level in this sample. Low levels of functional health literacy limit a patient's ability to read, understand and act on health information. It is essential that nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists use relevant cues to assess for illiteracy and modify their methods of providing health information when appropriate.


Health Services Research | Nursing | Public Health and Community Nursing | Public Health Education and Promotion


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