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Health Literacy and Clinical Preventive Behavior Among Older African Americans in Allegheny County

Macfarlane, Kristin (2012) Health Literacy and Clinical Preventive Behavior Among Older African Americans in Allegheny County. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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The public health relevance of this essay is to contribute to the body of research that seeks to elucidate the causal link between health literacy and health outcomes. This study also addresses the national issue of low clinical preventive services utilization among older adults. Low functional health literacy is associated with negative health outcomes, but the causal link as to why this is the case is not well understood. Clinical preventive service use has been identified as a possible mechanism, but there is a dearth of research concerning this topic. For older adults, who face higher risk for concomitant illnesses and higher risk for disability, clinical preventive service use is a key component of retaining health and functional independence. These services, however, are highly underutilized by older adults. This study utilizes secondary, cross-sectional baseline data collected from the Boosting Minority Involvement (BMI) study, a community-based cohort study intended to increase minority participation in research. Participants included ninety-one African American men and women aged 60 years and older, living in low-income community settings. Health literacy was measured with the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA) and clinical preventive behavior was assessed as a percentage of clinical tests in which the participant engaged as identified by the Prevention in Practice Report:“10 Keys” of Healthy Aging survey. Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that health literacy did not significantly predict percent clinical preventive behavior, controlling for covariates. The number of comorbidites one experienced emerged as the only significant predictor of clinical preventive behavior. A Spearman’s Rho correlation revealed that functional health literacy and number of comorbidities were positively associated with percent clinical preventive behavior. Comorbidity index was not related to one’s level of health literacy. While this study is a good first step, further research is necessary to elucidate the relationship between functional health literacy and clinical preventive behavior in an effort to establish a tenable avenue for intervention to improve health outcomes.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Macfarlane, Kristin
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAlbert, Stevensmalbert@pitt.eduSMALBERTUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBuchanich, Jeaninejeanine@pitt.eduJEANINEUNSPECIFIED
Date: 20 December 2012
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: No
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2013 17:03
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 11:58


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