Online Program

A preliminary investigation of health literacy and health behavior in patients with hypertension discharged from an urban emergency department

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Jasmine Vickers, MPH, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Alicia Streater, PhD, Center for Urban Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Arun Mallapareddi, MBBS, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Laura Kivell, MSW, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Joel Ager, PhD, School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Phillip Levy, MD, MPH, FACEP, FAHA, School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Julie Gleason Comstock, PhD, MCHES, Dept Family Medicine & Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
background: Among Americans, almost half have difficulties understanding health information. This is particularly startling given that low health literacy has been linked to lower rates of self-management skills, disease knowledge, and poor disease outcomes.

objective: To examine the relationships between the Brief Health Literacy Screen (BHLS), patient characteristics and health behavior in a hypertensive predominately African-American sample.

methods: This study is a cross sectional secondary analysis of an ongoing behavioral clinical trial aimed at improving blood pressure control through health technology. All patients had uncontrolled blood pressure (140/90mmHg or greater; or 130/80mmHg or greater for diabetics) at discharge from an urban emergency department. The BHLS data was extracted from the trial’s baseline data collection which also included patient characteristics and health behavior assessment.

results: Among the 104 adults in this study, 99% were African-American, 52% were male, 77% had some high school or completed high school and the mean age was 47 years old. Most (86%) of the sample had adequate health literacy. Health literacy was significantly associated with education, internet use and blood pressure monitoring. Although not statistically significant, 18% of males compared to only 8% of females had inadequate health literacy. No statistically significant associations were found for employment, income or age.

discussion/conclusion: This study expands the developing literature on brief health literacy screens in a predominately African-American population. Future studies should continue to replicate similar studies in other minority populations.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the importance of protocol development to screen for health literacy for patients discharged from the emergency department. Describe how health literacy tools (i.e., the Brief Health Literacy Screen) can be used during enrollment in cardiovascular research.

Keyword(s): Health Literacy, Hypertension

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a recent Master of Public Health graduate with epidemiological research experience. For this research project I also maintained oversight from two scholars in the public health field. Lastly, I have presented at APHA before and will abide by all the necessary protocols.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.