Assoziationen eines leicht verst ndlichen Patientenbriefs zur Gesundheitskompetenz nachstation rer Patienten. Ergebnisse einer randomisiert kontrollierten Interventionsstudie: Results of a Randomized Controlled Intervention Study

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



BACKGROUND: 54% of the German population has limited health literacy, which is associated with poorer health outcomes and higher utilization of the healthcare system.

AIM OF THE STUDY: The aim of this pilot study was to examine the effects of an easy-to-understand patient letter on patients' health literacy after discharge from a Clinic for Internal Medicine and to analyze patients' need for written, easy-to-understand information.

METHOD: In a randomized controlled trial (2016-2018), the effects of the patient letter on health literacy were examined by means of the HLS-EU-Q47 questionnaire. The intervention group (IG, n=242) received an easy-to-understand patient letter 3 days after discharge, the control group (KG, n=175) received only the usual medical discharge letter.

RESULTS: 60% of post-discharge patients were found to have limited health literacy. The study could not show any effect of patient letters on overall health literacy. The analysis of single items of health literacy showed positive effects of these letters on patients' comprehension of medical advice as well as their understanding and implementation of medication instructions (Cohens d≥0.20). Furthermore, patients expressed their wish for information after discharge from hospital (99%) and rated the patient letter as informative, understandable and helpful.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients wish to receive and are empowered by an easy-to-understand letter after discharge from hospital with medical information and medical instructions that they can implement at home.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S183-S188
Journal Das Gesundheitswesen : Sozialmedizin, Gesundheits-System-Forschung, medizinischer Dienst, public health, öffentlicher Gesundheitsdienst, Versorgungsforschung
Issue numberS 03
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85172665621
Mendeley 4053d40e-fa3f-3c44-a259-976a76c5d227


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Humans, Health Literacy, Aftercare, Patient Discharge, Pilot Projects, Germany/epidemiology, Hospitals, Health literacy, discharge management, hospitialization, patient empowerment, patient letter