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The Sealy Center on Aging supports a number of events related to research, education, and community service throughout the year focusing on improving the health and well-being of the elderly. Follow @UTMB_SCoA on Twitter and visit our Facebook Page for announcements.

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New Study Looks at Traumatic Brain Injury and Health Literacy

Apr 1, 2024, 07:38 AM by SCOA

UTMB aging researcher Dr. Monique Pappadis and colleagues have published a new paper, The Relationship of Health Literacy to Health Outcomes Among Individuals With Traumatic Brain Injury: A Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Study.

The study looked at how well people with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) understood health information and how it affected their health, after at least a year since their injury. They included 205 individuals with different levels of TBI severity who were discharged from the hospital.

Using a special technology-based test called Health LiTT, they measured health literacy, which is how well someone can understand and use health information. They also looked at other factors like other health conditions, perceived physical and mental health, depression, and anxiety.

The results showed that people with better health literacy tended to report better physical health compared to those with lower health literacy. They were also less likely to experience depression. Older participants tended to have more physical health problems but fewer mental health issues compared to younger participants. White participants and those with mild to moderate TBI were more likely to report mental health problems compared to Black participants or those with severe TBI.

Overall, the study suggests that poor health literacy is linked to worse physical health and more depression in adults with TBI. The researchers suggest that more needs to be done to understand how health literacy affects managing health problems and mental health after TBI, especially for those with lower health literacy skills. This could help improve the health and outcomes of people with TBI in the long run.

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