Epidemiologic insight into Trinidad’s awareness and prevention of heart disease. The EPITAPH study - a trinidadian cardiovascular health literacy survey
Keywords:Cardiovascular disease, Cardiovascular knowledge, Cardiovascular health literacy, Epidemiology, Trinidad & Tobago
Background: The aim of the study is to assess the degree of CV health literacy in the Trinidadian public health sector and to identify any factors associated with it.
Methods: The descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted at a single, public health care tertiary hospital, cardiology outpatient clinic located in northern-central Trinidad. Participants: A total of 420 persons were approached, of whom, 390 agreed to participate. Participants included all sexes and ethnicities. The study only excluded patients who declined participation and those younger than 18 years of age. Primary and secondary outcome measures: The primary endpoints were the mean score and percentage of correctly answered items, and percentages of modest and high levels of knowledge. Secondary endpoints were the proportion of participants with tertiary or above level education.
Results: The study had a response rate of approximately 93%. The domain of “risk factors” had the most correct responses (69.4%), whereas “medical knowledge” reflected the least correct (57.7%) responses. The overall mean score was 19.7 out of the 30-question questionnaire. This translated to a 65.8% correct response rate. The percentage of participants who scored less than 70% and greater than 70% of the questions correctly were 56.2% and 43.8% respectively. The study participants were found to be more knowledgeable about CVD if they reported “tertiary education,” OR 2.572 (95% CI 1.508-4.387) (p = .001).
Conclusions: Respondents displayed a modest level of knowledge and key deficiencies were identified which could potentially translate into suboptimal CV clinical outcomes. The study underscores the paramount importance of establishing comprehensive educational interventions to improve overall CVD literacy in Trinidad and Tobago. Further studies are required to confirm and validate these findings.
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