Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


Un- and under-insured individuals have lower access and less health literacy than their insured counterparts. This is a major public health problem as lower health literacy leads to unhealthy communities which have higher chronic disease rates. This quantitative dissertation uses data from a public health hospital system to understand the relationship between health literacy and healthcare utilization. The Andersen Model has been applied to determine whether, or to what extent, health literacy explains the relationship between the identified predisposing and enabling factors and the outcomes of appropriate utilization of care by controlling for variables associated with health literacy. A sample from Cook County Health was extracted to assess for predisposing factors, enabling factors, and need of healthcare utilization and a regression was used. Results show that high health literacy has negative significant influence on ACHN visits (B= -0.129; p<0.001) and negative influence on ED encounters (B= -0.012; p>0.019) although not significant. This study allows for more investigation on health literacy among healthcare utilization and how best to address health literacy as an effort to increase health equity in the community.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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