Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instructional Technology and Educational Studies

Major Professor

Earl M. Ramer

Committee Members

Cyrus Mayshark, A. Paul Wishart, W.C. Murphy


The general objective for this research was to describe health orientations and to develop recommendations for the improvement of health services in Clear Fork Valley, which includes Claiborne and Campbell Counties in Tennessee and a portion of Bell County in Kentucky. This general objective was divided into three specific phases: (1) to ascertain health perceptions and practices; (2) to determine the relationships existing between these perceptions and practices; and (3) to determine and evaluate stated desires for improved health care.

The writer first surveyed related literature, defined hypotheses, and developed a questionnaire. From those persons registered at the Second Annual Health Fair held in Clairfield, Tennessee, July 28 - August 1, 1969, 30 female-heads-of-household (the Attenders) were selected by means of stratified sampling procedures. These persons composed a group positively oriented to health practices. A second group of 30 female-heads-of-household (the Non-Attenders) was identified through a selection of persons not represented at the Health Fair. A third group of 15 respondents, not indigenous to the research area, was selected for their leadership activities within the Valley. Five female interviewers were chosen and trained in the administration of the questionnaire as well as in those operational techniques pertinent to the use of the portable tape recorder. Data were gathered by means of a verbally administered questionnaire with the responses recorded on tape whenever possible. Simple statistical techniques in the form of frequency counts, percentage distributions, and Chi-Square Analyses were used to interpret and describe the data. Significance was sought at the .05 level of confidence.

Conclusions were reached as follows:

1. A majority of the subjects reported favorable attitudes toward health services.

2. Subjects indicating favorable attitudes toward health and the utilization of health services would not necessarily use these services when available.

3. Some relationship was suggested between the subjects' age and educational experience, and their attitudes toward health services.

4. The Health Fair served not only as a means of obtaining a selected sample population for this study, but it served as a means for dissemination of information on a variety of health topics.

5. Fair Attenders and Non-Attenders exhibited no significant differences in their health perceptions.

6. Significant differences were found between the Leadership Participants and Attenders and the Leadership Participants and Non-Attenders in both health attitudes and practices. It appeared that the Leadership Participants, however, understood the health adjustments of those indigenous to the area.

From these conclusions, certain immediate needs of the Clear Fork Valley were evident: increased financial assistance in support of health programs; improvements in transportation and communication; additional medical personnel; better equipped medical clinics; and improved and extended health education programs in schools and other appropriate state and community agencies.

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