Abstract P241: Health Literacy and Patient Activation Are not Predictors of Positive Health Behaviors Among Young Adult Women
Young adulthood is an important phase during which health behaviors are established. Inadequate health behaviors during this phase may increase susceptibility to future poor health. Health behaviors of young adult women, in particular, will most likely not only affect their health, but that of their families. Research exploring health literacy (enabling informed decision making) and patient activation (confidence to maintain/improve health) as predictors of health behaviors is growing. We examined these variables as predictors of positive health behaviors among a cohort of 22-23 year old females (n=476). Health literacy was assessed using the Newest Vital Sign; scores were categorized as low, marginal, and adequate. The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) was used to assess participant health activation. Scores were categorized as low (<27) or high (>27). Eleven health behavior variables related to nutrition, physical activity, sedentary behavior, sleep, alcohol, and smoking were used to create a health behavior score. These data were collected through health surveys and accelerometry. The health score had a possible range of 0 to 22. We included race/ethnicity, education, body mass index (BMI), and depressive symptoms (CES-D) as potential covariates in multivariable models. About 46% of the cohort was White, 25% Black, and 10% Hispanic; about 77% of middle or low socioeconomic status (SES). About 71% had adequate health literacy (18% marginal, 11% low), while 89% had a high PAM score. Participants who were White (p<0.01), had higher education (p<0.01), reported higher SES (p<0.01), and had a lower CES-D score (p<0.02) had higher health literacy. Participants who had lower CES-D scores (p<0.01) also had higher PAM scores. The mean health behavior score was 12.68 (SD=3.39). Univariate analyses indicated adequate health literacy was associated with individual positive health behaviors: breakfast consumption (p<0.01), low sugar sweetened beverage consumption (p<.01), high physical activity (p<0.01), and no smoking (p<0.04). High PAM score was associated with low sugar sweetened beverage consumption (p<0.04). In univariate linear regression models, higher health literacy was associated with a higher composite health score (p<0.01). PAM score was not associated with health score. Multivariable linear regression models controlling for race/ethnicity, education, BMI, and CES-D score, indicated that neither health literacy nor PAM score were associated with composite health score. Among young adult women, positive health behaviors appear to not be influenced by either their individual health literacy or PAM score. Potential associations may emerge later in adulthood as they become fully independent individuals. Young adults may still be closely tied to their parents; thus parent health literacy and PAM score may predict health behaviors among young adults.
Author Disclosures: Y. Mohan: None. M. Sidell: None. L. Tillman: None. D. Young: None.
- © 2017 by American Heart Association, Inc.