Rehabilitation Consumers' Use and Understanding of Quality Information: A Health Literacy Perspective

Susan Magasi*, Elizabeth Durkin, Michael S. Wolf, Anne Deutsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Magasi S, Durkin E, Wolf MS, Deutsch A. Rehabilitation consumers' use and understanding of quality information: a health literacy perspective. Objectives: To explore consumers' use and understanding of quality information about postacute rehabilitation facilities. Design: Thematic, semistructured interviews. Setting: Two skilled nursing facilities and 2 inpatient rehabilitation facilities in a large Midwestern city. Participants: Rehabilitation inpatients (n=17) with stroke, hip fractures, and joint replacements and care partners (n=12) of rehabilitation inpatients. Intervention: None. Main Outcome Measure: None. Results: Health literacy imposed barriers to participants' understanding of quality information. Using the Institute of Medicine's Health Literacy Framework, we identified specific barriers that limited participants' abilities to (1) obtain quality information, (2) process and understand quality information, and (3) make appropriate decisions about the quality of a rehabilitation facility. Participants tended to rely on informal and nonquality information when choosing a rehabilitation facility. Conclusions: Given the barriers imposed by low health literacy, rehabilitation providers have a responsibility to present quality information in a way that consumers, especially those with low health literacy, can use and understand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Qualitative research
  • Quality indicators, health care
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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