Health Literacy and Health Promotion Behaviors Among Samoans

Monday, 30 July 2012

Katherine Y. Tong, MSN, RN, CFNP, PHN
School of Nursing, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to state what the level of health literacy is in a Samoan population living in southern California.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to state if any correlations exist between health literacy, health promotion behaviors, and selected patient characteristics in the Samoan population.

Purpose: Approximately 12 % of the US adult population has adequate health literacy (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2004). Limited health literacy is associated with lack of knowledge and underutilization of preventive services (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention [CDC], 2009, Hughes, Hannon, Harris, & Patrick, 2010). There is a paucity of studies on health literacy and health promotion in Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs), including the Samoan population, who have increased incidences of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes (McGarvey & Seiden, 2010). The purpose of this descriptive correlational study is to examine the relationship between health literacy and health promotion behaviors of a Samoan population living in southern California.

Methods: Participants will complete the Demographic Data Questionnaire, the Short form Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (measuring health literacy levels) and the Health Promotion Lifestyle Profile II (measuring health promotion behaviors).

Results: Results of data analysis are pending. Multiple linear regressions will examine the association of health literacy and demographic variables (e.g., age) with health promotion.

Conclusion: If limited health literacy is associated with decreased health promoting behaviors, appropriate measures can then be taken to help those with limited health literacy and to engage in effective strategies to foster both health literacy and health promotion. 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009). Promoting preventive services for adults 50-64: Community and clinical partnerships.Retrieved from

Hughes, M. C., Hannon, P. A., Harris, J. R., & Patrick, D. L. (2010). Health behaviors of employed and insured adults in the United States, 2004-2005, Health Promotion, 24, 315-323. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.080603-QUAN-77

Institute of Medicine (2004). Health literacy: A prescription to end confusion, Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

McGarvey, S. T., & Seiden, A. (2010). Health, well-being, and social context of Samoan migrant populations, NAPA Bulletin, 34, 212-228. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4797.2010.01060.x