Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Deaf--Iowa--Black Hawk County; Deaf; Health education; Iowa--Black Hawk County;


The primary purpose of this study was to determine the present health knowledge and health behavior of deaf adults in Black Hawk County, Iowa. In addition, the relationship between knowledge and behavior was examined. It was hypothesized that health knowledge and health behavior would be positively correlated.

A list of deaf adults was compiled through contacts with public and private agencies serving the deaf. Subjects received an introductory letter and response form by mail with subsequent telephone follow-up. Twenty-three deaf adults participated in the study representing 21% of the known, non-institutionalized deaf adults in the county. Participants were interviewed with the assistance of a sign language interpreter. The instrument used to collect data concerning health knowledge was designed by the researcher and validated by a four-member panel of experts. The Centers for Disease Control Health Risk Appraisal was used to measure health behavior.

Though there was wide variance in health knowledge scores, the findings indicated a general lack of knowledge in the areas of cardiovascular health, interpretation of common medical symptoms, and women's health issues. The participants reported fairly healthy behaviors when considering scores as a whole. Seat belt use, weight control, frequency of rectal examinations, and performance of breast self-examination were areas with the greatest number of people at risk.

The relationship between knowledge and behavior was examined through calculating a Pearson correlation coefficient. Though it was expected that knowledge and behavior would be positively correlated, the data did not support such a hypothesis. Instead, knowledge was found to be positively correlated with age while behavior and age were negatively correlated.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services


School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

First Advisor

Jane Richards


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (125 pages)



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