Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Summer 2019

Thesis Director

Stacey L. Ruholl

Thesis Committee Member

Maranda D. Schaljo

Thesis Committee Member

Chelsea Duncan

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to observe the relationship between waist circumference (WC), amount of aerobic exercise performed weekly and overall Health Belief Model (HBM) score in adults with diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Members from a local Midwest adult fitness program (n = 5) who had been diagnosed T2DM participated in this study. Participants ranged in age from 70 to 80 years with an average age of 74 years. Four of the participants were female and one participant was male. The questions included in this study were 1 .) in those with diagnosed T2DM, was a low overall HBM score correlated with a high WC? and 2.) was there a relationship between the overall HBM score and whether individuals with diagnosed T2DM met American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM's) guidelines for aerobic exercise? WC measurements were taken by the primary researcher and the type and amount of aerobic exercise participants completed was documented as part of the demographic survey. Participants' perception of illness was analyzed using a version of the Health Belief Model, adapted from Gutierrez and Long (201 1 ). Analysis of the data was done by first calculating Cronbach's alpha to assess internal reliability of the HBM used. Both a Pearson's Correlation Coefficient r and a p-value were then calculated to test the first hypothesis, yielding values ofr = 0.09 and p = 0.89, respectively. These results both showed a non-significant relationship between WC measurement and the overall HBM score in this sample of adults with diagnosed T2DM. Similarly, the second hypothesis was assessed by both a Pearson's Correlation Coefficient r and a p-value, yielding values of r = 0.36 and p = 0.55, respectively. These results showed a non-significant relationship between the overa l l HBM score and whether participants met ACSM's guidelines for aerobic exercise. Overall, the results of this study did not support either hypothesis, indicating no observed relationship between WC measurements and overall HBM score or between overall HBM score and whether individuals met ACSM's guidelines for aerobic exercise. It is recommended that future studies use a larger population in order to obtain a larger sample size, hopefully yielding more significant results. Additionally, it is recommended that future studies sample from multiple facilities and more diverse populations in order to increase the variation in age range and duration of diagnosis among participants.

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