School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Dana Woody


Diabetes Health Literacy, Rural Health


Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Health literacy is paramount for successful management of health and prevention of disease. Yet a majority of adults have low health literacy. The impact of low health literacy on chronic disease management effects health outcomes and health care costs. With six out of 10 adults in the US diagnosed with a chronic disease such as diabetes, health literacy is a serious concern. Diabetes impacts over 30.3 million Americans. Since diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the country, it is imperative that health literacy be addressed as part of this population’s health management. Diabetes health literacy plays a substantial role in disease management by increasing successful self-management behaviors. Rural populations in particular have lower levels of health literacy and higher incidence of diabetes, making this population at increased risk for morbidity and complications such as vision loss, cardiac disease and kidney failure. The geographical and demographic inequities of the rural population provide unique challenges that impact diabetes health literacy. Given the statistics related to diabetes and diabetes health literacy in the rural community, it is paramount that providers working in these communities acknowledge the factors that influence diabetes health literacy and are knowledgeable of interventions and strategies that impact diabetes health literacy. This integrative review examines the state of evidence regarding diabetes health literacy in the rural community in an effort to support health care providers in improving diabetes health literacy in this at-risk population.

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