The following is a summary of “Association of Health Literacy with Health-Related Quality of Life in Youth and Young Adults with Spina Bifida: A Cross-Sectional Study,” published in the December 2022 issue of Pediatrics by Rague, et al.

For a study, researchers sought to examine the relationship between health literacy and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in spina bifida-affected adolescents and young adults (AYAs).

Patients with a diagnosis of spina bifida ≥12 years who visited the multidisciplinary spina bifida center between June 2019 and March 2020 were given the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System Pediatric Global Health-7 (PGH-7), a measure of HRQOL, and the Brief Health Literacy Screening Tool (BRIEF). Surveys were filled out during prearranged clinic appointments. The PGH-7 normalized T-score was the main result. The BRIEF score was the main exposure. The medical record included information on the patient’s demographic and clinical parameters. The relationship between health literacy and the PGH-7 score was evaluated using nested, multivariable linear regression models.

About 226 (97.4%) of the 232 eligible patients who showed up at the clinic satisfied the study’s inclusion requirements. The average age was 17.0. (range: 12-31). The majority of people and those with myelomeningocele (61.5%) were female(54.0%). The percentages of those who reported having inadequate, marginal, and sufficient health literacy were 35.0%, 28.3%, and 36.7%. Better health literacy levels were linked, in univariable analysis, to higher PGH-7 scores. In multivariable linear regression models that were nested and sequentially adjusted, a greater health literacy level was linked to a stepwise rise in PGH-7 score. In the fully adjusted model, the PGH-7 score increased by 3.3 (95% CI: 0.2-6.3) and 1.1 (95% CI: -2.0 to 4.2), respectively, for sufficient and marginal health literacy compared to poor health literacy.

Even after correcting for demographic and clinical characteristics, a relationship between health literacy and HRQOL remained. For AYAs with spina bifida to have an improvement in HRQOL, health literacy-integrated strategies were required.