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Hypertension is one of the serious health issues worldwide and requires medications and lifestyle modifications to prevent its serious complications. Lifestyle modification requires health literacy which is an important factor for people with hypertension to manage themselves to control blood pressure. Health literacy is the cognitive and social skills of individuals to acquire, access to, understand, and use information to stay healthy. This randomized controlled trial aimed to examine the effectiveness of Health Education and Health Empowerment Program to improve health literacy in Thai adults with uncontrolled hypertension. Two sub-district health promoting hospitals in a province in the east of Thailand were randomly selected and assigned to an intervention hospital and a control hospital. Twenty participants in each hospital were randomly selected. Participants in the experimental group received a 4-week Program, whereas participants in the control group received only usual care. The Health Literacy for Hypertension Questionnaire was administered at baseline (week 0), immediate post-intervention (week 4) and at follow-up after 4 weeks of intervention completion (week 8). Two-way mixed ANOVA and repeated measures were used to analyze the data.
The results indicated that participants in intervention group had a significantly higher health literacy mean scores than those in the control group at immediately post-intervention and follow-up period. The mean scores of health literacy in hypertension in the intervention group had significantly increased over time. These findings indicate the benefit of the program in improving health literacy among people with uncontrolled hypertension. Further testing of the program with participants in other provinces is needed to validate the results before implementation in practice.
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