Variable Details

Available Studies

ROS, MAP, MARS, Clinical Core

Scaled? 

Not Scaled

Variable Type 

Longitudinal

Variable Name 

health_literacy_pct

Categories

Decision Making and Behavioral Economics

Health literacy
Health Literacy Percent

Health literacy is assessed with 9 questions designed to measure knowledge of health information and concepts. Questions assess knowledge of Medicare, following doctors’ prescription instructions, leading causes of death in older persons, and framing drug risk in information in two different ways.

All answer choices are multiple choice or true/false with only one correct answer. Thus, each item is scored as correct or incorrect. The health literacy score is expressed as the percentage correct out of total items.

Participants are asked the following questions:

  1. What is Medicare?
    A private health insurance plan for persons aged 65 or older; A government-run health insurance plan for persons aged 65 or older or younger persons with permanent disabilities; A government-run health insurance plan for any person who cannot afford health insurance
  2. Medicare Part D covers which of the following?
    Inpatient hospital services; Outpatient physician services; Prescription drug benefits
  3. Medicare routinely covers costs associated with extended long-term care such as nursing home care lasting more than 1 month.
    True; False
  4. Suppose your doctor has given you a new prescription with the following instructions: Take 2 pills twice daily with food for 7 days. Which of these choices represents the BEST way for you to take this medicine?
    Take 2 pills when you wake up and 2 before bed; Take 2 pills daily for 7 days; Take 2 pills with breakfast and 2 with dinner for 7 days
  5. You go to see your doctor and he recommends you get your flu vaccine. He tells you that the flu is the most common cause of death in older people but warns that there is a 1 in 100,000 chance that you will develop a life-threatening complication if you get the vaccine. Would you get the vaccination?
    Yes; No
  6. Please name the 3 leading causes of heart disease and stroke that are treatable with medication (questions 6-8).
    [Mentions high blood pressure/hypertension]
  7. Please name the 3 leading causes of heart disease and stroke that are treatable with medication (questions 6-8).
    [Mentions high cholesterol]
  8. Please name the 3 leading causes of heart disease and stroke that are treatable with medication (questions 6-8).
    [Mentions diabetes]
  9. Your doctor offers you two drugs. Drug A has a 1 in 100 chance of death. Drug B has a 99 in 100 chance of survival. Which one is more risky?
    Drug A; Drug B; They are equally risky

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