Health Literacy is becoming increasingly recognised as being very important in empowering patients to be active participants in their own healthcare. We have observed that rheumatology patients from ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom may have a number of problems in this regard. Firstly, many of them have low literacy skills. Secondly, they may have little or no understanding of the English Language. Thirdly, there may be cultural barriers to their being able to access health information and navigate healthcare systems.
We have identified mindmaps as a way of overcoming these barriers and have been studying the effect of a multi-lingual interactive mindmap in South Asian populations within the United Kingdom. In particular, we have used this tool to provide layered information on osteomalacia for South Asian populations with poor literacy and poor English language skills. Our qualitative studies indicate that this tool is considered by the population to be highly effective and easy to use.
Our semi quantitative analyses confirm significant benefit in terms of knowledge with the use of this intervention in the South Asian ethnic minority population studied.
We also believe that the use of a multi-lingual interactive mindmap will lead to better concordance and better health outcomes in ethnic minority populations. We are currently evaluating this.
In conclusion, we believe that health literacy is a very important contributor to health outcomes in the field of Rheumatology in particular, and health more generally. Preliminary findings from our research indicate that the use of interventions to improve health literacy such as a multi-lingual interactive mindmap is of benefit in patients from ethnic minorities. We also believe that this intervention may benefit to other such disadvantaged groups of people.
Disclosure of Interest None declared