|Description||Background: Despite the advancements in healthcare, hypertension remains one of the most prevalent diseases in Eastern North Carolina and affects every third adult. This increased incidence could possibly be exacerbated by the low health literacy levels of patients who are diagnosed with hypertension. Low health literacy can lead to less healthy choices, riskier behavior, poor health, ineffective self-management, and increased hospitalization and costs. Hypertension and low health literacy levels are major health care concerns in North Carolina. Considering health literacy levels should be important when promoting lifestyle modification for blood pressure control
Methods: The aim of this quality improvement project was to examine the link between health literacy and hypertension, and to provide participants with the basic tools of hypertension management. The goal of the project was the improvement of the quality of life among Eastern North Carolinians. During seven sessions at the local public library, a basic health literacy assessment was conducted, demographics were collected, and information about healthy life styles was provided.
Results: A total of 42 participants received education on hypertension management; 29% (n = 12) were males; the participants were of all age groups; all participants were able to read the seven words from the REALM-SF assessment tool, and 71% (n = 30) of participants had blood pressure reading during the educational session higher than normal.
Conclusion: The link between low health literacy and increased blood pressure was not established. However, it is safe to conclude that more education on hypertension management and healthy life styles is needed in Eastern North Carolina.
Keywords: health literacy, hypertension, high blood pressure, Eastern North Carolina||en_US