All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Brian F Geiger

Advisory Committee Members

Virginia J Howard

Nataliya Ivankova

Michelle Y Martin

Marcia O'Neal

Monika M Safford

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

The lay public has had more opportunities than ever before to take an active role in their own health care. Despite these opportunities, many questions remain regarding the basis for barriers relating to seeking preventive health information. Following publication of the report of the Secretary’s Task Force of Black and Minority Health, health education researchers have documented health disparities among populations of color, in particular African Americans (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 1985). Brashers, Goldsmith, and Heish (2002) pointed out the complexity of health information-seeking behaviors (HISB) and highlighted the increasing need to clearly understand the process of health information consumption. Examination of this concept is critical in addressing heart disease and stroke health disparities seen in minority populations. Progress in stroke and cardiovascular disease prevention and effective behavior will depend, at least in part, on understanding the dynamic process of health informationseeking. A mixed methods research approach is useful in capturing the best of quantitative and qualitative data to better understand the concept of HISB or how iii an individual searches and obtains information about health risks, disease and illness, and health promotion activities (Lambert & Loiselle, 2007). Two recent occurrences emphasize the necessity of understanding HISB: (1) the explosion of the health care consumerism movement across the globe (Booske, Sainfort, & Hundt, 1999; Brashers et al., 2002; Carlsson, 2000; Dutta-Bergman, 2004; Eysenbach & Diepgen, 1998; Marks & Lutgendorf, 1999; Navarro &Wilkins, 2001), and (2) the extensive access to health information from sources other than the health care provider (Brashers, et al., 2002). A major component of preventive health practice is the availability and provision of information regarding risks to health and promotional measures for enhancing health status and narrowing the health disparity gap. Estimates indicate by the year 2050, 14.6% of the U.S. population will be African American and will constitute 6% of the stroke deaths (Centers for Disease Control, 2009). The proposed study of HISB investigated factors associated with primary prevention of stroke among young African Americans adults, a topic that has received limited research attention.

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