Date of Graduation

Summer 2010


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope


health beliefs, low-income, medically uninsured, health belief model, hypertension

Subject Categories



The medically uninsured have difficulty managing chronic disease, such as hypertension, due to a lack of healthcare access and the high costs of healthcare. Preventative care and adherence to treatment is directly affected by an individual's health beliefs. This descriptive correlational study used a convenience sample (N=39) to evaluate the health beliefs of uninsured, low-income, hypertensive adults at a free health clinic. Using the Health Belief Model as a framework, participants' perceived barriers and benefits to treating hypertension were evaluated using the modified Knowledge, Perceptions, Beliefs and Behaviors Related to the Prevention of Hypertension questionnaire (Newell, Modeste, Marshak, & Wilson, 2009). Statistically significant findings were: length of diagnosis of hypertension had a negative relationship with perceived severity (-0.337, p <0.05); educational level had a negative relationship with high blood pressure knowledge (-0.454, p < 0.01); and those who participated in exercise behaviors disagreed to barriers to finding the time (0.376, p <0.05) and place (0.437, p < 0.01) to exercise. Only 7.7% of the sample reported eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. The results of this study can be used to develop best practice standards for low-income, uninsured patients and to understand barriers to change. By understanding health beliefs among the uninsured and low-income population, health care providers will be able to enact programs that improve health.


© Laura Dianne Burton

Campus Only