Background: People with limited health literacy may not effectively communicate with their doctors and may lack the skills needed to make accurate health decisions. That is why it is essential that health care providers have insight into patients baseline medical knowledge, as this may help doctors customize their approach to the treatment plan for each patient. The current study aimed to assess orthopedic foot and ankle patients knowledge using The Foot and Ankle Literacy Survey.
Methodology: An online survey was conducted (October and November 2018) was conducted for evaluating patient knowledge of foot and ankle terminology, anatomy, conditions, treatment, and perioperative considerations. The performance was assessed as a function of participants demographic factors.
Results: A total of 250 participants participated in our study. A significant improvement in the performance correlated with higher levels of education (college, p=0.008), patient type (preoperative visit, p=0.003) and a current or previous health care employee (p=0.001). Gender was significantly related with the performance improvement in the perioperative considerations (p=0.001). Education was associated with markedly improved performances in the terminology (p=0.02), conditions and treatment (p = 0.001), and perioperative considerations (p=0.001) categories. Being a health care employee or professional was associated with significantly (p=0.02) enhanced performances in the perioperative considerations category. Health care visit type was associated with significantly (p=0.02) improved performances in the anatomy category.
Conclusion: Education, health care experience, visit type, and prior visits to health care providers for foot and ankle complaints were significantly found to improve questionnaire performance.
Key words: Health literacy (HL), FALS, foot, ankle