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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

George P. Parris

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if there were differences between male African Americans who have served in the military and those who are not veterans in their ability to read and comprehend medical information for a chronic illness prevalent among African Americans, such as type 2 diabetes. The participants included 92 African American men of whom 44 were veterans and 48 were nonveterans. The participants were drawn from fraternal organizations and churches in a large metropolitan area located in the Midwestern part of the United States. The Short Test of Health Literacy Assessment (STOFHLA), a knowledge questionnaire, and a short demographic survey were used as the data collection tools. Four research questions were developed for the study. Each of these questions were addressed using inferential statistical analysis. The findings indicated that veterans and nonveterans did not differ in their health literacy levels or in their ability to read and comprehend medical information contained in a pamphlet about diabetes prepare by the Michigan Department of Public Health. One variable, scores on the STOFHLA, was a statistically significant predictor of the ability to read and comprehend medical information on the pamphlet. Health literacy is an important indicator of the ability to read and comprehend medical information in written form that is given to patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Further study is needed to continue research on how to provide this information to individuals, especially those with limited health literacy.