Health Literacy and Opioid Use in Orthopaedic Patients


Opioid misuse has been linked to patient health literacy. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of low health literacy in a sample of orthopaedic patients on opioids. Data were extracted from an electronic medical record database using queries that included an 8-month time frame, active status in an orthopaedic clinic, ICD-10 codes for opioids, and health literacy screening results. In the study sample of 8963 orthopaedic patients, 7103 had opioids in their current chart. Of those patients with opioids in their chart, 1547 had inadequate health literacy as measured by a validated health literacy screening question. Because approximately 22% of orthopaedic patients on opioids may also be at high risk for low health literacy, practices should consider identifying these patients and following national recommendations to tailor patient education so that these patients can better understand the risks, benefits, and dosing of opioids. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 25(4):234–237, 2016) Key words: health literacy, opioids, orthopaedics

SKU: JSOA-2016-25-4-W7 Categories: , Tags: , ,

Kristie B. Hadden, PhD; Latrina Y. Prince, MEd; and C. Lowry Barnes, MD