Defense Date

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Media, Art, and Text

First Advisor

Dr. Rowena Briones

Second Advisor

Dr. Candace Johnson

Third Advisor

Dr. Marcus Messner

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ryan Patton

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the creation of a cervical cancer health prevention infographic, geared toward African American women ages 30 to 65, to be potentially used to raise health literacy and influence positive behaviors towards practicing prevention measures—ultimately preventing unnecessary deaths. This dissertation also produced a cervical cancer health prevention infographic prototype for African American Women ages 30 to 65 to be further tested and implemented within future health communication campaigns.

Cervical Cancer is both preventable and treatable (if diagnosed during early stages); therefore the amount of individuals dying from the cancer should be minimal. Still, African American Women in this study’s target health population are dying from Cervical Cancer the most. Existing research highlights that social determinants of health (like income, education and literacy) play varying roles as barriers to prevention (Baldwin, 1996; J. L. Davis et al., 2013; Egbert & Parrott, 2001; Ford et al., 2013; McKinnon, Harper, & Moore, 2011; Sung, Alema-Mensah, & Blumenthal, 2002; Williams & Templin, 2013).

. This dissertation specifically focuses on targeting the potential to increase health literacy on Cervical Cancer to potentially positively influence prevention uptake.

Drawing upon fields like health communication, visual communication and social science research, this research endeavor presents an interdisciplinary approach to potentially solving health communication issue within an at-risk population. The theoretical framework in guiding infographic production for this dissertation was the Health Belief Model, which is widely used in health communication research to assess failure of prevention uptake (du Pré, 2014; Glanz et al., 2005; Maibach & Parrott, 1995; Rosenstock, 2000).

The Health Belief Model in conjunction with existing literature regarding health literacy, cultural stigma and relevance in communication campaigns geared toward African American Women ages 30 to 65, infographic content was created and presented to study participants via six interactive focus groups. The focus group methodology of qualitative research allowed for 17 study participants to confidentially engage in dialogue with peers concerning the issue at hand while also helping to create the content hierarchy, enhance and suggest visuals, colors and themes of the proposed infographic.

Iterative data analysis approaches allow for constant assessment of study outcomes and themes. This study produces theoretical, practical and methodological implications for future research on the lacking area of scholarly literature. Findings from this dissertation suggest a need to (1) test the proposed infographic for potential national health campaign usage, (2) a need for more long-term collaborative community efforts for continual population access in research on Cervical Cancer prevention, and (3) future assessment of a newer form of focus group research that focuses on incorporation smaller participant groups for increased hands-on interactivity.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

8-12-2016

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