Health Literacy and Psychiatric Hospital Readmissions
This study examined the health literacy of adult patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder, investigated the relationship between health literacy and psychiatric hospital readmissions, identified differences in readmission rates between health literacy groups, and explored the best predictors of hospital readmission from among selected demographic characteristics (social support, gender, ethnicity, residential status, insurance status, employment status, marital status, education, in-patient length of stay, age, and health literacy). The prospective, exploratory, descriptive research design used a health literacy questionnaire at or near discharge, and tracked 2- and 4-week post discharge readmission rates in 30 adult patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Health literacy was found to correlate strongly with 2-week and total readmissions, and was the only significant predictor of 2-week readmissions. Findings support the feasibility of assessing health literacy further in this patient population, validate the procedure for subsequent studies, and provide preliminary data on the relationship between health literacy and readmissions. Findings may also be useful in patient education, discharge planning, and policy making.