Date of Conferral





Public Health


Aaron Mendelsohn


African Americans aged 40 to 65 are more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension, and adherence to prescribed antihypertensive medication regimens is important in controlling their blood pressure levels. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship between health literacy and sociodemographic and clinical factors with adherence to antihypertensive medications among African American adults. The theoretical framework for this study was the health belief model. A quantitative research design was used with participants recruited from churches with African American congregations in the city of Detroit. A convenience sampling method was used to obtain a sample of 79 individuals. The inclusion criteria for the study included being African American, from 40 to 65 years of age, and with a diagnosis of hypertension or high blood pressure. The participants completed 4 instruments: Newest Vital Sign, Medication Adherence Self-Efficacy Scale, Beliefs about Medication Questionnaire, and a demographic questionnaire to determine the relationship between health literacy, medication adherence, and beliefs about medication. Kruskall-Wallace ANOVA and bi-nominal regression were used to analyze the data. Most participants demonstrated possibly limited to limited health literacy. The findings indicated medication adherence was not significantly associated with health literacy or specific or general beliefs about medication, but it was significantly related to income. The findings may lead to social change by emphasizing to physicians the need to be aware of the level of their patients’ health literacy and to develop strategies to ensure that the patients understand the importance of their antihypertension medications to reduce the effects of the condition.