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Medication Adherence, Health Literacy and Cultural Health Beliefs in a Massachusetts Community Health Clinic
Funded by the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) ; January 1, 2014–December 31, 2017
Contact: Jo Korchmaros (
This study explores how medication adherence, a widespread problem in primary care, is shaped by structural, social and individual factors. Building on our previous research, the current study combines qualitative and quantitative methods to examine health literacy and barriers to medication adherence among urban, minority and medically underserved patients. Massachusetts, a leader in health insurance reform, provides a unique research setting for this study as the state has recently expanded the number of people insured under publicly-funded programs while implementing cost-control measures that may negatively affect access to prescription medications, especially for low-income people. Improved understanding of the complex relationships among health literacy, culturally-variable health beliefs, and structural and socioeconomic factors will better prepare primary health care providers to improve adherence and support patients’ chronic disease self-