for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Victoria Ojeda, PhD, MPH (ucsd)
Headshot of Victoria Ojeda
Victoria Ojeda



The goal of this randomized intervention study is to learn about effective health literacy teaching methods in Justice Involved Adults (JIA).

Researchers will compare coach-guided health literacy or self-study design to see if there is a difference in the access and use of healthcare in this population.

The main questions it aims to answer are:

  • Will this improve access and use of heath services?
  • Will this improve health insurance coverage and long term use of health services?

Participants will:

  • Meet with a health coach and service navigator during 12 sessions or meet with service navigator and complete online training over 12 weeks.
  • Complete surveys at different time (6months, 1 year)

Official Title

An RCT Testing a Health Literacy Intervention to Reduce Disparities in Access to Care Among Minority Justice-Involved Adults


Health literacy refers to the skills needed to effectively access, understand, and use health resources. Inadequate health literacy annually costs the U.S. $100-$200 billion and is observed among justice involved adults (JIA)-a group of ~20 million U.S. persons who are disproportionately non-elderly and African American, Black, and Hispanic due to systemic racism and over-policing. JIA face numerous barriers in accessing healthcare which contributes to a high, lifelong burden of chronic and infectious disease. Healthcare access is defined as 1) having health insurance coverage, 2) having a regular source of care and 3) obtaining healthcare in a timely manner. Health literacy interventions for JIA are critically needed but are unavailable and NIH-funded research that is inclusive of JIA is sorely lacking. This timely study addresses these gaps. This study will implement a longitudinal mixed-methods randomized clinical trial (RCT) to assess the impact of the UCSD RELINK coach-guided health literacy intervention vs. a self-study control group on JIA's healthcare access. To achieve this aim, 300 JIA ages 18+ will be recruited in San Diego, CA and randomized 1:1 to the Treatment Group (i.e., coach-guided health literacy intervention) or the Control Group (i.e., self-study of the intervention). This study is timely and may inform health literacy interventions for JIA, policies to build health literacy among JIA in institutional and community settings, and the service delivery models for JIA. The proposed intervention has great potential for increasing health literacy among JIA and thus improving the well-being of this sizeable and underserved community. Findings from this study may also have relevance for interventions seeking to build the health literacy of other low-income communities.


Health Care Utilization, Justice Involved Adults, Re-entry Population, Health Coaching, Service Navigation, UCSD RELINK, Self-study, Coach-guided, Self study


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  1. Provision of signed and dated informed consent form
  2. Stated willingness to comply with all study procedures and availability for the duration of the study
  3. Persons, aged 18 and over
  4. Resident of San Diego County
  5. Not incarcerated at time of enrollment
  6. Justice involved in the past 3 years (on parole, probation, court diverted)
  7. Understands English
  8. Access to a cell phone

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Under the age of 18 years old
  2. Not a resident of San Diego County
  3. Incarcerated at enrollment
  4. Not justice-involved within the last 3 years (i.e., not on probation or parole or was court-diverted in the past 3 years)
  5. No access to a cell phone
  6. Cannot provide informed consent
  7. Does not understand English
  8. Previously enrolled in the pilot UCSD RELINK program
  9. Adults who have current or prior convictions related to sexual violence/abuse (Penal Code [PC] 290), lewd acts with a child (PC 288), child abduction (PC 280), or arson (PC 451)


  • San Diego Probation Department accepting new patients
    San Diego California 92104 United States
  • Center for employment opportunities accepting new patients
    San Diego California 92101 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health

  • Victoria Ojeda, PhD, MPH (ucsd)
    Professor, Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health & Human Longevity Science, Vc-health Sciences-schools. Authored (or co-authored) 67 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Victoria D. Ojeda
Study Type
Expecting 300 study participants
Last Updated