Knowledge and motivation: two elements of health literacy that remain low with regard to nurse practitioners in Australia
Cashin, A, Heartfield, M, Cox, D, Dunn, S, Stasa, H 2015, 'Knowledge and motivation: two elements of health literacy that remain low with regard to nurse practitioners in Australia', Australian Health Review, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 470-475.
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Objective: This paper presents analysis of consumer focus groups that were undertaken as a part of the project to develop the now current Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s Nurse Practitioner Standards for Practice.
Methods: Six focus groups were conducted with consumers around Australia, including urban and remote areas. One purpose for these groups was to explore what was known of nurse practitioners and whether consumers could articulate the difference between the regulated titles of enrolled nurse, registered nurse and nurse practitioner.
Results: Consumers’ knowledge of nurses’ roles in the Australian primary healthcare system, and hence system literacy (particularly in terms of navigating the system), was low. Of perhaps greatest importance is the fact that those consumers with low health systems literacy also exhibited a low level of motivation to seek new knowledge. Many consumers relied on the medical profession to direct care.
Conclusion: The low levels of health literacy raise questions of how to meaningfully include health consumers in innovative health-related policy work.