Health literacy impact on patient-provider interactions involving the treatment of dental problems

Leonard A. Cohen, Arthur J. Bonito, Celia Eicheldinger, Richard J. Manski, Robert R. Edwards, Niharika Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Health literacy-related problems can interfere with effective doctor-patient communication and effective patient care. This study examined several health literacy-related markers for patients seeking treatment in hospital emergency departments and physician and dentist offices for dental problems and injuries. Participants consisted of low-income white, black, and Hispanic adults who had experienced a dental problem or injury during the previous twelve months and who visited a hospital emergency department, physician, or dentist for treatment. A stratified random sample of Maryland households participated in a crosssectional telephone survey. Interviews were completed with 94.8 percent of 423 eligible individuals. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed. Only 10.0 percent of the respondents expressed a difficulty understanding what they were told by the health provider, while 4.9 percent expressed a difficulty understanding the dental or medical forms they were asked to complete and 6.9 percent reported that they had difficulty getting the health provider to understand their dental problem or injury. Logistic regression analysis found that males and Hispanics were significantly (p

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1218-1224
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


  • Dental problems and injuries
  • Dentist visits
  • Emergency department visits
  • Health literacy
  • Physician visits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Education


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