Background: It is estimated that 5.3 million Americans are living with hepatitis C of which 75% remain unaware of their infection status (HHS, 2011). Individuals born between 1945 and 1965, baby boomers, account for approximately three-fourths of all hepatitis C cases in the U.S. (CDC, 2012). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test Mishel’s Uncertainty in Illness Theory among patients with hepatitis C. The study focused on the influences that a set of predictor variables prescribed by the model have on the individual’s perception of uncertainty.
Methods: Mishel’s Uncertainty in Illness Theory provided the theoretical framework for the study. A cross-sectional, correlational/predictive design was utilized to study the relationship the antecedents of Mishel’s Uncertainty in Illness Theory had on the individual’s perception of uncertainty.
Results: Data were collected over an 8-week period from a convenience sample of baby boomers that self-identify as having hepatitis C (N = 146). Hypothesis one was supported since the linear combination of the predictors revealed a significant regression model, F (5,115) = 27.091, p < .001, with an R2 value of 0.54. Two of the five predictors, credible authority (β = .625) and social support (β = -.169), were significant predictors of perceived level of uncertainty. Hypothesis two was supported and found a significant result, F (2,143) = 5.517, p = .005; therefore, cognitive capacity accounted for statistically significant variation of uncertainty in those baby boomers affected by hepatitis C. Hypothesis three found no significant interaction between level of education and cognitive capacity, F (1,138) = 1.282, p = .26 but a significant main effect for education, F (1,138) = 5.092, p = .03 and a significant main effect for cognitive capacity, F (2,138) = 3.589, p = .03.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the uncertainty associated with hepatitis C and illness events as a psychological stressor may be reduced by credible sources of information as well as increased social support. Future research should include replication of this study as well as evaluation of quality of life in relation to levels of uncertainty in baby boomers affected by hepatitis C.
|Advisor:||Beason, Ferrona A.|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Nursing, Epidemiology, Demography|
|Keywords:||Baby boomer, Hepatitis C, Mishel's theory, Uncertainty|
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