Low health literacy is associated with worse postoperative outcomes following hepato-pancreato-biliary cancer surgery

Heleen Driessens*, Laura van Wijk, Carlijn I. Buis, Joost M. Klaase

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Low health literacy (HL) can lead to worse health outcomes for patients with chronic diseases and could also lead to worse postoperative outcomes. This retrospective cohort study investigates the association between HL and postoperative textbook outcome (TO) after hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) cancer surgery. Methods: Patients that consented and underwent surgery for a premalignant andmalignant HPB tumor were included. Preoperatively, HL was measured by the brief health literacy screen (BHLS). Patients were categorized as having low or adequate HL. Primary outcome was TO (length of hospital stay (LOS) ≤ 75th percentile; and no severe complication; and no readmission and mortality within 30 days after discharge). Secondary outcomes were LOS and emergency department (ED) visits within 30 days after discharge. Results: In total, 137 patients were included, of whom thirty-six patients had low HL. In patients with low HL (vs. adequate HL), rate of TO was lower (55.6% vs. 72.3%; p = 0.095), LOS was significantly longer (13.5 vs. 9 days; p = 0.007) and there was only a slight difference in ED visits (14.3% vs. 11.0%; p = 0.560). Patients with low HL had a significant lower chance of achieving TO (OR 0.400, 95%-CI 0.169–0.948; p = 0.037). Conclusion: Low HL leads to worse postoperative outcome after HPB cancer surgery. Better preoperative education and guidance of patients with low HL could lead to better postoperative outcomes. Therefore, HL could be the next modifiable risk factor before major surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1869-1877
Number of pages10
JournalHPB
Volume24
Issue number11
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2022

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