Date of Conferral
Hepatitis (HCV) is a communicable disease that impacts many Americans. The scholarly literature lacked the knowledge pertaining to the relationships between poverty and HCV diagnosis and prescription for HCV medication. The purpose of the study was to measure the magnitude and statistical significance of these relationships, as modeled by the health belief model and public health surveillance and action framework. Specifically, the study was designed to determine whether there is a statistically significant relationship between living below the poverty line and being diagnosed with HCV, as well as living being below the poverty line and being prescribed HCV medication. A total of 78 records of HCV-positive individuals from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey dataset were evaluated by applying the statistical procedure of odds ratio (OR) analysis. The results of the analysis revealed that (a) there was not a statistically significant relationship between being below the poverty line and being diagnosed with HCV, OR = 0.99 (SE = 0.38, z = -0.03, p = .974); and (b) there was not a statistically significant relationship between being below the poverty line and being prescribed HCV medications, OR = 0.32 (SE = 0.55, z = -0.66, p = .507). Numerous recommendations for improving measurements of the relationship between poverty and HCV are provided. This study may promote positive social change by indicating the importance of poverty as an agenda item for public health policy and practice.