Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Patient compliance and health care communication are impacted by health literacy. Poor health choices, frequent hospital visits, noncompliance with health regimens, and higher health costs are all associated with low health literacy. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to determine whether there was an association between health literacy as measured by primary language spoken in the home (Creole vs. English) and hypertension self-management as measured by regular use of medication and cutting down on foods high in salt, and whether there was an association between Haitian men, women, their education level, or level of poverty in relation to health literacy as measured by the primary language spoken at home (English or Creole) and hypertension self-management as measured by regular use of medication and cutting down on foods high in salt. The conceptual framework used for the study was the second language acquisition theory. Strategic sampling was used to identify 318 Haitian participants; however, only 36 respondents qualified as Haitian immigrants with a relatively high propensity of hypertension. Logistic regression was used to analyze the data. The results showed no statistically significant relationship between language spoken at home and hypertensive medical compliance within the New York Haitian immigrant community. The other variables age and household income proved to be statistically significant, however gender and education did not appear to have as much of an influence on hypertensive medical compliance observed in the participants. The social change implications include the need for health care staff to be aware of the roles that age, gender, income, language, culture, and education may play in regard to health literacy and hypertension medical compliance.