Date of Award
Master of Public Health
Background: Type II diabetes, which is known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, has become an epidemic worldwide. In the United States, diabetes affects 25.8 million people which represent 8.3% of the population. Out of 25.8 million, 23.22 million people have Type II diabetes. According to the National Statistics Vital Report, Type II diabetes was the number seven cause of death in the USA and it can be prevented. The primary purpose of this study was to assess the overall knowledge and health beliefs about Type II diabetes among a sample of undergraduate students; the second purpose was to assess the relationship between the overall knowledge and health belief subscale. Methods: A cross-sectional and descriptive survey design was used. An existing knowledge and health belief instruments was adapted. In the 2014 spring semester, a non- random convenience sample of over 200 undergraduate students who enrolled in Foundation of Human Health 101- class were surveyed in order to assess knowledge and health belief about Type II diabetes. The Health Belief Model provided the theoretical framework for this study. Results: Overview of the participants in this study was provided through conducting a descriptive analysis. Majority of the participant were female, aged between eighteen and twenty, and Caucasian. Data analysis revealed that the overall knowledge about Type II diabetes among participants was low. For the individual health beliefs, perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, and perceived barriers to Type II diabetes were low; however, perceived benefits to engaging in healthy behaviors was high. Having other problems more important than worrying about diet and exercise, and not knowing the appropriate exercise to perform to reduce the risk of developing Type II diabetes were the major barriers among participants. A positive, weak, statistically significant correlation was found between overall knowledge and total belief of benefits to engaging in healthy actions. At the same time, a negative, weak, statistically significant correlation was found between overall knowledge and total belief of barriers to engaging in health lifestyles. Results from multiple regression revealed that knowledge was best predicted by race/ethnicity. Family history, stress level, and level of exercise were the best predictors of perceived susceptibility, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers, respectively. Perceived severity was not predicted by any of the independent variables.
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