Associations Between Health Literacy and Medication Self-Management Among Community Health Center Patients with Uncontrolled Hypertension
Received 9 August 2019
Accepted for publication 13 December 2019
Published 15 January 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 87—95
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen
Stephen D Persell, 1, 2 Kunal N Karmali, 3 Ji Young Lee, 1 Danielle Lazar, 4 Tiffany Brown, 1 Elisha M Friesema, 1, 2, 5 Michael S Wolf 1
1Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA; 2Center for Primary Care Innovation, Institute for Public Health and Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA; 3Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA; 4Access Community Health Network and the ACCESS Center for Discovery and Learning, Chicago, IL, USA; 5Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Correspondence: Stephen D Persell
Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 750 North Lake Shore Drive, 10th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Tel +1 312 503 6464
Fax +1 312 503 2755
Purpose: Examine associations between health literacy and several medication self-management constructs among a population of adults with uncontrolled hypertension.
Patients and Methods: Cross-sectional study of health center patients from the Chicago area with uncontrolled hypertension enrolled between April 2012 and February 2015. Medication self-management constructs—applied to hypertension medications, chronic condition medications and all medications—included: 1) medication reconciliation, 2) knowledge of drug indications, 3) understanding instructions and dosing, and 4) self-reported adherence over 4 days (no missed doses). We determined associations between health literacy and self-management outcomes using multivariable generalized linear regression.
Results: There were 1460 patients who completed screening interviews; 62.9% enrolled and had complete baseline data collected, and were included in the analysis. Of 919 participants, 47.4% had likely limited (low), 33.2% possibly limited, and 19.4% likely adequate health literacy. Compared to participants with likely adequate health literacy, participants with low health literacy were less likely to have chronic medications reconciled (18.0% versus 29.6%, p=0.007), know indications for chronic medications (64.1% versus 83.1%, p< 0.001), and demonstrate understanding of instructions and dosing (68.1% versus 82.9%, p=0.001). Self-reported adherence to hypertension medications was higher among the low health literacy group (65.6% versus 56.0%, p=0.010). In multivariable models, health literacy was strongly associated with knowledge of drug indications, and understanding of instructions and dosing.
Conclusion: Low health literacy was associated with worse medication self-management in several domains. However, non-adherence was greatest in the most health literate in unadjusted analysis. Among a population of patients with uncontrolled hypertension, the drivers of poor control may vary by health literacy.
Keywords: health literacy, hypertension, medication reconciliation, community health centers
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]