The Impact of Health Literacy on Health Behaviors of Waco Residents

dc.contributor.advisorLanning, Beth A.
dc.contributor.authorLarsen, Alexandra
dc.contributor.departmentNeuroscience.en_US
dc.contributor.otherKelly R. Ylitaloen_US
dc.contributor.schoolsHonors College.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-21T16:31:52Z
dc.date.available2018-05-21T16:31:52Z
dc.date.copyright2018
dc.date.issued2018-05-21
dc.description.abstractLiteracy, especially health literacy, is lacking in the U.S. adult population, especially among people of low socioeconomic status. According to the 2003 National Assessment of Adult literacy, 36% of adults have below average competence in interpreting and acting upon health information. Low health literacy has been linked to poor patient outcomes and higher rates of negative health behaviors, but results of studies examining the association of health literacy with smoking behavior and alcohol consumption have been mixed. Furthermore, few, if any, studies have investigated the relationship of health literacy with health anxiety. In this study, we measured health literacy among adults at the Waco Family Health Center using the Newest Vital Sign tool. Smoking and alcohol use behaviors were gathered from EPIC medical records as reported by patients to their primary care physician. Health anxiety was tested using a shortened Whiteley Index. The data were then analyzed for correlations between health literacy and each variable separately, controlling for demographic factors such as race and socioeconomic status. Results indicate that smoking is associated with lower health literacy, but no relationship was found between health literacy and alcohol consumption. There was no statistically significant relationship between health literacy and health anxiety; however, trends in the data indicate that lower health literacy may be associated with higher health anxiety. The relationship between health literacy and risky health behavior like smoking highlights the importance of adequate health literacy education and indicates a potential benefit of screening for health literacy in a primary care setting.en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2104/10255
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.rightsBaylor University projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. Contact libraryquestions@baylor.edu for inquiries about permission.en_US
dc.rights.accessrightsWorldwide access.en_US
dc.rights.accessrightsAccess changed 7/31/20.
dc.subjectHealth literacyen_US
dc.subjectPublic healthen_US
dc.subjectHealth behaviorsen_US
dc.subjectSmokingen_US
dc.subjectAlcoholen_US
dc.subjectHealth anxietyen_US
dc.titleThe Impact of Health Literacy on Health Behaviors of Waco Residentsen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US

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