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Abstract: SA-PO672

A Single Center Cross-Sectional Study of Health Literacy Levels in Pre-Dialysis, Home Dialysis, and In-Center Hemodialysis Patients

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 604 Home and Frequent Dialysis


  • Mac-Way, Fabrice, None, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
  • Bégin, Yannick, Université Laval, Québec, Quebec, Canada
  • Rousseau-Gagnon, Mathieu, CHUQ-Hôtel-Dieu-de-Québec, Lac-Beauport, Quebec, Canada
  • Agharazii, Mohsen, CHUQ-HDQ, Quebec City, Alberta, Canada

Health literacy is the ability to obtain, understand and use healthcare information to make appropriate health decisions. Recent studies have suggested that chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients may have low levels of health literacy. We aimed to evaluate and compare the health literacy levels in pre-dialysis and dialysis patients.


This is a cross-sectional single-center study conducted at CHU de Québec-Laval University. Adult patients attending pre-dialysis clinic, and ongoing home hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and in-center HD completed a French Canadian version of the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ), a validated questionnaire. Cronbach’s Alpha analysis was used. The HLQ measures nine specific domains of health literacy: feeling understood and supported (D1), having sufficient information (D2), actively managing health (D3), social support (D4), appraising information (D5), engaging with health providers (D6), navigating the health care system (D7), finding good information (D8) and understanding information (D9).Each domain is composed of 4 to 6 questions.


A total of 353 patients (152 pre-dialysis, 157 in-center hemodialysis, 38 peritoneal dialysis (PD) and 16 home hemodialsysis (HHD)) completed the HLQ. There was a high level of agreement within each domain's questions with a Cronbach’s Alpha of at least 0.75. Patients on HHD and PD were more likely to feel understood and supported (D1 p<0.001). HHD patients were more likely to understand and appraise health information (D5 and D9 p<0.001). There was a nonsignificant tendency for them to feel like they had sufficient information (D2 p=0.06), that they could actively manage their health (D3 p=0.07) and that they had a good social support (D4 p=0.09). However, we did not find any difference between the CKD groups regarding the ability to actively engage with healthcare providers (D6), to navigate through the healthcare system (D7) or to find good health information (D8).


This study reports for the first time detailed health literacy levels in pre-dialysis, home dialysis and in-center hemodialysis patients. Our findings will be useful in implementing strategies that take into account these nine domains of health literacy in order to improve CKD patient outcomes and quality of life.