Health Literacy and Associated Factors Among Hmong American Immigrants: Addressing the Health Disparities

Belle P. Khuu, Hee Y. Lee, Anne Q. Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Hmong Americans face a disproportionate health burden ranging from the high prevalence of diabetes to depressive disorders. Little research attention has been paid toward exploring contributing factors to this disparity. As such, the present study seeks to fill the gap in the literature by examining the health literacy levels in Hmong Americans and its associated factors. The present study employed Andersen’s behavioral model of health service as the theoretical framework. A cross-sectional survey research design was used and information was gathered from 168 Hmong American immigrants. Participants were recruited using a purposive sampling strategy. A multiple regression analysis was conducted to identify the factors linked to health literacy. Approximately half of the participants had low health literacy and reported that they did not understand health information well. Health literacy levels were found to differ significantly based on the number of years participants have lived in the U.S., their social or religious group attendance, health status, and whether they had difficulties with activities of daily living. Our exploratory findings could be used prompt more research to help inform the development of interventions aiming to improve health literacy levels and address the health disparities in Hmong American Population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by research fund of the Ucare Foundation, MN.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Andersen behavioural model
  • Asian Americans
  • Health disparities
  • Health literacy
  • Hmong Americans
  • Immigrants


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