Health literacy and adherence to antihypertensive regimens in African Americans ages 50 and older

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Racquel Ingram (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Luba Ivanov

Abstract: Currently in the US, there is a discrepancy between the adult populations' literacy levels necessary to understand and adhere to healthcare instructions. A major goal of the Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2010 initiatives is to improve the communication (health literacy) of those with inadequate or marginal levels. Health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. African Americans (AAs) ages 50 years and older with inadequate health literacy skills are subject to have higher rates of non-adherence to their medical regimens. Large numbers of AAs living in the United States are disproportionately affected by hypertension (HTN) and the burdens of associated complications. The purpose of this study was to describe the association of health literacy levels and adherence to antihypertensive regimens in AA adults aged 50 years and older. Green and Kreuter's (2005) Precede-Proceed Model (PPM) was used as a framework for this study. PPM accentuates the connection among health and social issues, pre-planning, culturally sensitive psychosocial barriers, population significance, and evaluation. A descriptive correlational design was used for 121 AAs ages 50 years and older who had been diagnosed with HTN and prescribed antihypertensive regimens (such as medication and dietary restrictions). Health literacy was measured utilizing the REALM and adherence was measured using the HBCS. Results of the study showed that the majority of the participants were not able to adequately understand healthcare information and were functioning with inadequate health literacy levels. Regression analysis showed that age and health status significantly predicted adherence to antihypertensive regimen, indicating that those who were younger and reported `poor' or `fair' health status were more likely to not adhere to their antihypertensive regimen.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Adherence, African Americans, Education, Health Literacy, Hypertension, Literacy
Older African Americans $x Health and hygiene.
Literacy $x Health aspects $z United States.
Health education $z United States.
Hypertension $x Prevention.

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