Master of Arts (M.A.)
Degree Granting Department
Janelle Applequist, Ph.D.
Travis R. Bell, Ph.D.
Artemio Ramirez Jr., Ph.D.
Grounded theory approach, information seeking, health communication, website design
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease with no known cause or cure. No two cases are identical, meaning that every individual will present different symptoms and will have a different progression of the disease. Me Over PD is an initiative created to aid newly diagnosed PD patients and care partners in navigating the complexities surrounding the disease and live a more informed life with PD. Considering Me Over PD, the present research works to understand the experiences of PD patients and care partners upon diagnosis and after, and gauge what elements and information would be most beneficial to these individuals in creating an educational website. Study 1 used a grounded theory approach to guide the research, wherefrom the findings informed the use of Social Marketing Theory (SMT) in Study 2. The literature review contextualizes the use of semi-structured interviews and both theories respectively.
From Study 1 themes of misdiagnoses, lack of information upon diagnosis, information seeking via the internet, and social support emerged, which informed the need to create a PD website resource to provide them with the necessary information. From Study 2 categories emerged outlining specific types of favorable information, barriers of usage, the internet as the preferred resource, reiterating the findings from Study 1, and the wish to be informed about a PD website via the doctor. PD is a topic that has not been researched extensively, particularly regarding the early experiences of affected individuals. The present study aims to contribute new knowledge pertaining to the experiences of PD patients and care partners and inform what elements and information would be most agreeable for those individuals in creating an educational website for PD. By creating awareness of the needs of PD patients and care partners, healthcare providers and the health communication community can take steps towards better understanding and catering to this demographic. Though more extensive research on the topic is needed, the present understanding and catering to this demographic. Though more extensive research on the topic is needed, the present research works as a building block for a better understanding of PD affected individuals and how best Me Over PD can develop a PD educational website for them.
Scholar Commons Citation
Madsen, Emilie R., "Developing Design Elements for a Parkinson’s Disease Informative Website: A Social Marketing Approach" (2020). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.