Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Health Services

Advisor

Dr. Diane Naser

Abstract

Childhood cancer is the second leading cause of death in children aged 0-19 years. Research efforts to identify factors associated with or influencing this growing health problem are limited. The purpose of this research study was to examine, in reference to Louisiana during the period 2004-2010, the annual number of children diagnosed with cancer; the types of cancers; the possible effects of the environmental aftermath resulting from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav; and any correlation between environmental contaminants following these hurricanes with the number of children diagnosed with cancer. This study employed correlational quantitative methodology using archival data from the Louisiana Tumor Registry that identified childhood cancer types and incidence for the years 2004â??2010. Data were analyzed using logistic regression. Data analysis demonstrated statistically significant differences in the number of children diagnosed with cancer in Louisiana following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav, more specifically between the northern (p = .011) and southern (p =.013) regions. However, this may have no or limited practical significance. The sample size was large in this study, and given a large enough sample, regardless of insignificant population differences, almost any difference or any correlation will be statistically significant. The positive social change implication of this study is that it may lead to the development of preventive tools/measures for healthcare professionals and parents to help reduce childhood cancers associated with exposure to adverse environmental factors.

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