IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 1300: How Can Cardiac Rehabilitation Promote Health Literacy? Results from a Qualitative Study in Cardiac Inpatients (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
After acute care of a cardiac event, cardiac rehabilitation helps future disease management. Patients with low health literacy have been shown to have fewer knowledge gains from rehabilitation and higher all-cause mortality after acute cardiac events. Cardiac rehabilitation may be the best channel to target population with low health literacy, yet research on this topic is limited. Consequently, the main aim of the current study was to identify patient perceptions about the health literacy domains that are needed for successful rehabilitation of patients attending German cardiac rehabilitation clinics after an acute cardiac event. Five focus group interviews with 25 inpatients (80% male, 20% female) were conducted at a cardiac rehabilitation clinic in Germany. Patients were eligible to participate if they had sufficient understanding of the German language and had no other debilitating diseases. Patients identified five domains of health literacy for rehabilitation success: knowledge about their health condition; being able to find and evaluate health-related information, being able to make plans and sticking to them, assumption of responsibility over one’s health and the ability to ask for and receive support. The results give an important insight into what patients perceive as important components of their cardiac rehabilitation, which can provide the basis for developing the health literacy of patients and how cardiac rehabilitation clinics respond to the recovery needs of their patients.