Date of Conferral





Health Services


Katie Callahan-Myrick


Health literacy is needed throughout care to understand basic health, prevent diseases, understand diagnoses, and treatment and management of complicated diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Inadequate physician–patient communication is related to medication errors and overall understanding of basic health information in chronic condition such as T2DM. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between physician–patient communication and health literacy, glycemic control, diabetic knowledge, and demographics. The target population consisted of African Americans, ages 18-75, diagnosed with T2DM. Primary data were collected from a family medicine clinic using 4 questionnaires: s-TOFHLA (short form of functional health literacy), Diabetic Knowledge Test, interpersonal processes of care, and a demographic survey. The theoretical framework was based on the social cognitive theory. Hemoglobin A1c levels were recorded from electronic medical records. Data were analyzed using cross-tabulations and ordinal logistic regression. The findings suggested that adequate physician–patient communication is associated with adequate and inadequate health literacy levels, glycemic control, diabetic knowledge, and age. Evidence suggests that adequate physician–patient communication should be considered in the management of T2DM in African Americans. Improving physician–patient communication supports adequate health literacy and adequate diabetic knowledge among patients with T2DM, both of which improve health outcomes.