Inadequate health literacy is generally described as a silent epidemic, which is challenging the functioning of health care systems all over the world. Health literacy is understood as the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information in order to effectively navigate the health system. Low health literate patients perceive poor self-efficacy, are not willing to be involved in the provision of care, show larger risks of hospitalization and mortality, and are not aware of the determinants of well-being. Moreover, limited health literacy has been associated with inadequate management of long-term conditions. This study is aimed at examining the association between health literacy and the appropriate management of hypertension. For this purpose, a narrative literature review has been performed, concerning 38 articles retrieved from the databases PubMed, Scopus-Elsevier, EBSCOhost and Web of Science. Even though the literature is not consistent dealing with this issue, inadequate health literacy is mainly conceived as a significant determinant of poor health outcomes among hypertensive patients.
Keywords: Health literacy, hypertension, appropriateness, health outcomes, health education, medication adherence