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Enfermería Nefrológica

On-line version ISSN 2255-3517Print version ISSN 2254-2884


PELAYO ALONSO, Raquel et al. Analysis of the level of health literacy in patients with chronic renal failure on hemodialysis. Enferm Nefrol [online]. 2017, vol.20, n.3, pp.221-226. ISSN 2255-3517.


Health literacy has a significant impact on individual health, especially in elderly patients, chronic patients or polymedicated patients, characteristics present in hemodialysis patients. A low level of health literacy is associated with poorer health outcomes.


To assess the level of health literacy in patients with chronic renal failure on hemodialysis and to compare it with the general population and other chronic pathology (heart failure).

Material and Method:

Descriptive prospective study in 37 patients on chronic hemodialysis. To assess the level of health literacy, the Health Literacy Survey-European Union (HLS-EU-Q) questionnaire was used.


The average overall literacy rate was 26.4 ± 7.32 points. More than 83% of the sample had an inadequate or problematic level of literacy. Our population had worse literacy levels compared to patients with heart failure (inadequate or problematic: 83.8% vs 79.6%; p: NS) and with the general population (inadequate or problematic: 88.8% vs 58.3%; p <0.002).


The data obtained reflect a problematic or inadequate level of health literacy, which indicates that patients attended have difficulties interpreting and applying the educational messages of health professionals.

Keywords : health literacy; chronic renal failure; hemodialysis.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )