Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review

Document Type



Health literacy and insurance are important aspects of healthcare, yet few studies assess the roles that each play in relation to strokes. The purpose of this study is to better understand the relationship that stroke health literacy and insurance coverage have on the development of post-stroke outcomes such as post-stroke depression and stroke severity. In this study, 47 patients receiving inpatient care for acute ischemic stroke were given a modified version of the Stroke Knowledge Test in order to assess their understanding of strokes. Stroke severity and depression levels were also measured using the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD-17), respectively. Additionally, patients were asked whether their insurance coverage influenced their decision to seek out healthcare for their acute stroke-like symptoms and whether their insurance coverage would influence their decision to continue taking any medications or treatments that were started due to their strokes. Among the patients screened, there was a trend towards lower stroke health literacy scores indicating a decreased understanding of strokes among patients who stated their insurance coverage would influence one or more of their healthcare decisions. There was also a trend towards increased HAMD-17 scores indicating higher depression levels in patients who answered that their insurance would influence both of these decisions. However, neither of these trends were significant. Through continued research, it is hoped that these trends will shed light on the roles that health literacy and insurance coverage have on post-stroke outcomes and will provide a more holistic understanding of patient decisions regarding healthcare.



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