Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Lorie Donelle


In the past two decades, there has been an increased interest in the development of self-management programs for people with chronic diseases. Fundamental to chronic disease management is adequate literacy and health literacy skills. Research on the health literacy skills of individuals managing Parkinson’s disease (PD) is seemingly absent from the research literature. The purpose of this study was to assess the health literacy skills of older adults managing PD and to examine the relationships of functional health literacy, self-efficacy, social support, and empowerment in this population. Using a cross-sectional design, this study surveyed 33 older adults living with PD within southwestern Ontario. Functional health literacy was positively correlated with self-efficacy (r=.13) and empowerment (r=.20) in individuals living with PD. As well, there was an association between functional health literacy and social support. Findings suggest that self-efficacy, social support, and empowerment may affect PD patients’ ability to find, read, understand, and communicate health-related information.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, functional health literacy, self-efficacy, empowerment, social support

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