Low Income Housing Residents' Perceived Competency Regarding Hypertension and Diabetes

TiAngela Austin, Gardner-Webb University


People of African-American ethnicity are affected by hypertension and diabetes at alarming rates. Prevalence of hypertension and diabetes is thought to be the result of many different factors. When considering why each or both of these diseases disproportionately affect this population of people, much focus should query around factors such as socio-economic status, culture, beliefs, diet, lifestyle, and patient perceptions. Evaluation of perception is an integral component in demystifying disease morbidity and mortality. This study evaluates the perception of low-income housing residents' perceived ability to maintain normal blood pressure and blood glucose levels. The literature consistently associates low socioeconomic status with increased prevalence of diabetes and/or hypertension. The majority of residents living in the low-income housing community surveyed for this research study were African-American. Statistically, African-Americans comprise the ethnic majority of persons living in the low-income housing communities considered for this survey. Participants completed a demographic survey and the perceived competence scale. The perceived competence scale is a measurement tool designed by Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan. The scale measures perception by averaging answers provided by the participant.