Patients with end-stage chronic kidney disease require hemodialysis treatment to maintain kidney function. The patients should be prepared to manage symptoms that may arise and cope with physical, psychological and financial changes. In addition, the patients are expected to be able to make their own decisions on how to manage the disease and adhere to treatment. This situation requires good health literacy skills. Little is known about the synthesis of health literacy among patients with chronic kidney disease.
Goal: To summarize the available evidence on benefits and factors that affect health literacy in patients undergoing hemodialysis from the available literature.
Method: The study reviewed health literacy among patients undergoing hemodialysis. A literature search using a database was conducted in Ebsco, PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus, and Emerald in December 2021 using the terms health literacy, hemodialysis, dialysis, CKD, and ESRD. We included studies from 2010-2021 that involved adult patients. Screening title, abstract, and full text were conducted to check each study's eligibility.
Results: A total number of eight of 1223 articles were included, with 2,036 respondents. Most included studies found that patients had a low level or inadequate health literacy (n = 5). In contrast, one study shows moderate health literacy (n = 2), and one article found a good level of health literacy. Higher health literacy was shown can improve patients' quality of life. The review summarizes several factors influencing health literacy, such as education, health care providers, life experiences, happiness and anxiety.
Conclusion: The review shows that most studies found lower health literacy levels. It is expected that nurses and healthcare professionals can improve health literacy which could positively impact patients' quality of life.