Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Harry M. Lindquist

Committee Members

Irshad Ahmad, Norbert F. Riedl


The general objective of this research was divided into three specific phases: (1) to ascertain health attitudes of a sample population; (2) to determine the relationship between biographic and attitude factors within the sample population; and (3) to evaluate the above in terms of its significance to health care planning.

The writer surveyed the literature, defined hypotheses and developed a questionnaire. A community in each of the three East Tennessee counties was selected for surveying. A total of 164 interviews was conducted, 44 in Knox County, 53 in Blount County and 67 in Sevier County. An interview team of 18 students administered the questionnaire over an eight week period. Data were gathered by means of a verbally administered questionnaire and recorded manually. Frequency counts and percentage distributions were used to describe the data. Correlation analysis and crosstabulation with the chi-square statistic to determine level of significance were used to evaluate the relationship between certain variable pairs. Significance was sought at the .05 level of confidence.

Conclusions were reached as follows:

1. The three communities exhibited a definite need for improved health programs, to include additional medical personnel, clinics, transportation and health education programs.

2. The majority of respondents reported favorable attitudes toward their present health care delivery system.

3. Any impetus for change or improvement in the health care delivery system will have to come from outside these communities themselves.

4. While health (or illness) is a topic of much interest, very little thought seems to have been given to the subject of health care delivery.

5. The biographic characteristics of the study population were significantly associated with their attitudes toward health and health care delivery.

6. Age of respondents was significantly associated with their attitudes toward health more frequently than any other biographic characteristic.

7. No relationship was demonstrated between the respondents’ age and their attitudes toward change or innovation in health care delivery.

8. Some relationship was exhibited between respondents’ income and their willingness to accept change or innovation in health care delivery.

9. While a large percentage of respondents reported favorable attitudes toward new health services, such as physicians’ assistants and mid-wives, a smaller percentage reported that they would use such services if available.

10. Many respondents are unaware of the many available sources for medical care, other than their family doctor.

Based on the study’s findings and conclusions, the following recommendations were offered: health education programs to assure use of available health services; additional medical personnel; and community clinics. It was further recommended that any efforts to improve the health care delivery system should be built upon the traditional family-physician health care concept.

Suggestions for additional study include a quantitative assessment of the health condition of the study population and an analysis of the specific relationship between age and those variables with which age showed significant associations.

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