Date of Conferral





Public Health


Georjean Stoodt


Health literacy (HL) plays a significant role in health care communication and patient compliance. Low health literacy leads to noncompliance with health instructions, poor health choices, failure to participate in recommended health screenings, frequent hospitalizations, and higher health care costs. Using the health belief model (HBM) as the conceptual framework, this quantitative, cross-sectional study addresses a gap in the literature related to the research questions of this study. The research questions are: (a) Is there a relationship between HL and the level of hypertension (HTN) in hypertensive urban Latinos?, and (b) Will HL predict the level of control of HTN in these participants? Purposive sampling resulted in 136 hypertensive Latino adults, English, Spanish, or both, consenting to participate. They completed the health literacy test (STOFHLA) in Spanish or English. Information regarding participants' demographics, hypertensive history, and status came from the emergency department (ED) visit intake form and participant medical records. The data were analyzed using the complementary log-log model of ordinal logistic regression and multiple regression. Although a statistically significant relationship (p< .05) was found between at least one of the independent variables and the level of HTN (Ï? 2 (8) = 20.498, p = .009) in hypertensive Latinos seeking health care in an urban ED, a statistically significant relationship between HL and HTN was not. The social change implication is that the findings of this study can be used in health education programs to inform individuals that increasing age, and smoking can increase the level of HTN.