Theses/Dissertations - Public Health

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    Factors influencing e-cigarette use among college students at Baylor University.
    (2020-04-16) Jones, Rebecca D., 1994-; Asare, Matt.
    In 2016 the Surgeon General declared e-cigarette use among United States young adults a major public health concern. Between 17.7% to 40% of college students have tried or are currently using e-cigarettes. For this study, a survey with questions pertaining to e-cigarette use, knowledge, mental distress, academic performance, and self-efficacy was distributed among Baylor University undergraduates. Bivariate analysis and hierarchical multiple regression was used. A significant association between gender and frequency of e-cigarette use was found (χ2 = 22.94, p < .001). Additionally, significant relationships were found between knowledge (F = 9.01, p <.001), self-efficacy (F = 4.85, p < .05), depression (F = 8.31, p < .05), and GPA (F = 5.49, p < .001) and e-cigarette use. Knowledge was the greatest predictor of e-cigarette use (R2 = .029) followed by GPA (ΔR2 = .016) and gender (ΔR2 = .009). Limitations include the use of a convenience sample.
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    Assessing physical activity behaviors among patients in a federally qualified health center (FQHC) : implications for physician-based physical activity counseling.
    (2020-04-08) Gutierrez, Mariela Alejandra, 1994-; Ylitalo, Kelly R.
    Physical activity (PA) is beneficial for overall health. However, the high prevalence of physical inactivity is concerning. Race/ethnic minority groups, such as Blacks and Hispanics, report significantly lower levels of PA. Behavior change theories, such as the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), can help understand PA behavior adoption and maintenance. Assessing the relationship between SCT constructs and PA among diverse patient populations can help improve physician-based PA counseling, a primary care initiative to increase PA levels. This study assessed SCT constructs and the self-reported PA of a sample of federally-qualified health center patients. Self-efficacy and self-regulation of PA behavior were the most significant SCT constructs associated with PA behavior among patients. Physician-based PA counseling should incorporate strategies to increase self-efficacy and self-regulation. Moreover, the racial/ethnic differences of the associations between SCT constructs and PA suggest physician-based PA counseling programs should be tailored to the behavioral needs of diverse patient populations.
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    Family-engaged physical activity and employment background as a model for child physical activity among Mexican-heritage families.
    (2020-04-29) Delgado, Haley, 1994-; Umstattd Meyer, M. Renée.
    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between family-engaged physical activity, parental employment background and children’s physical activity among Mexican-heritage populations. Promotoras (community health workers trained in research methods) administered surveys to (n=346) mothers to collect information on family-engaged physical activity, child physical activity and employment background. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between family-engaged physical activity frequency, parental employment and child physical activity frequency. Maternal employment was a significant predictor of child physical activity (OR=0.51; 90%CI=0.26, 1.00; p=0.10). Frequent family physical activity was positively associated with weekday physical activity for children, even after adjusting for paternal job status (OR=1.73; 90% CI=0.99, 3.01; p=0.08). Understanding the relationship between family physical activity and child physical activity may facilitate maintained engagement in physical activity programs for diverse cultural contexts.
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    Firefighters who died by suicide : an epidemiologic study of suicide means, sociodemographic and psychiatric risk factors, and other precipitating circumstances.
    (2020-04-03) Pennington, Michelle Lynn, 1991-; Ylitalo, Kelly R.
    Suicide is a significant and growing public health problem and it is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Firefighters, in particular, are thought to be at high risk for suicide due to chronic workplace stress. In recent years, more firefighters have died from suicide than in the line of duty. The purpose of this thesis was to describe suicides among firefighters using national suicide death data in an effort to inform tailored suicide prevention and screening efforts among first responders with the goal of lowering suicide mortality among the fire service. Data from the National Violent Death Reporting System (2003 – 2017) for 722 firefighters and 192,430 non-firefighters was analyzed. Results show differences between sociodemographic, risk factor, and toxicological profiles of firefighter and non-firefighter decedents and that sociodemographic and risk factors among firefighters differ by suicide means.
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    Somaliland surgical capacity : the effect of surgical capacity on elective and emergent pediatric surgical care.
    (2020-04-14) Henry, Sarah A., 1996-; Smith, Emily Rose.
    Pediatric surgical service is severely lacking in Low to Middle Income Countries (LMICs). Specifically, in the country of Somaliland children are at greater risk for disability and death due to poor surgical capacity. This study aims to identify current surgical capacity and the specific items to increase to improve pediatric surgical care. A survey was conducted to identify the surgical capacity of hospitals (n=15) and pediatric surgeries (n=1,255) completed between August 2016 and July 2017. The data were analyzed through SAS to retrieve results. Only 5 out of the 15 hospitals had the minimal surgical capacity to serve the population. Of the 1,255 pediatric surgeries, 712 were elective and 505 were emergent surgeries. The evidence suggested that surgical capacity could improve by increasing infrastructure, personnel, and surgical delivery. Investing in surgical capacity could increase the surgical care for children in Somaliland.