Author ORCID Identifier
Year of Publication
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. Debra K. Moser
The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the mechanism of association between social determinants of health (SDH), particularly limited health literacy, and disparate outcomes related to cardiovascular disease in vulnerable populations. Specific aims were to 1) compare quality of life (QOL), anxiety, and depressive symptoms between genders in implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) recipients; 2) examine the association between multi-morbidity burden and QOL; 3) determine whether health literacy levels independently predict CVD risk in the male prison population; 4) examine the relationship between health literacy and decisiveness regarding end of life (EOL) choices, and 5) examine SDH as predictors of perceived poor health status in ICD recipients. Specific aim one was addressed by analysis of data collected from individuals in the Swedish ICD and Pacemaker Registry. Multiple linear regression was used to determine predictors of anxiety, depression, and quality of life in men and women. A higher prevalence of anxiety symptoms in women was noted with no differences in depressive symptoms noted between the genders. The majority of the variance in the predictive models for QOL was explained by the addition of the psychosocial variables for both genders. Specific aim two was addressed by analysis of data collected from individuals in the Swedish ICD and Pacemaker Registry. Logistic regression was used to determine predictors of QOL. Greater multi-morbidity burden was associated with lower QOL in ICD recipients. Specific aim three was addressed by analysis of data collected from male inmates enrolled in a bio-behavioral educational and counselling intervention program to reduce CVD risk. Nonlinear regression was used to determine whether health literacy was an independent predictor of CVD risk while controlling for social and clinical variables. Inmates with adequate levels of health literacy had lower ten year CVD risk profiles than those inmates with inadequate health literacy. Specific aim four was addressed by analysis of data collected from ICD recipients. Multinomial regression was used to determine predictors of decisiveness regarding EOL choices. Within the context of terminal illness, health literacy and race were found to be predictors of decisiveness regrading generator replacement while gender was found to be a predictor of decisiveness regarding the withdrawal of defibrillation therapy. Specific aim five was addressed by analysis of data collected from ICD recipients. Logistic regression was used to determine predictors of perceived poor health status. Residential status in the Central Appalachian region of Kentucky, not working outside the home, higher levels of health literacy, and comorbid depression were predictors of perceived poor/very poor health status.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Miller, Jennifer L., "Social Determinants of Health and Disparities in Outcomes Related to Cardiovascular Health in Vulnerable Populations" (2017). Theses and Dissertations--Nursing. 31.