Date of Conferral
. Vasileios Margaritis
Chlamydia trachomatis is a sexually transmitted disease, and its incidence has been increasing in recent years in the U.S. population. Certain demographic factors have been identified as posing an increased risk to acquire this disease. The purpose of this mixed-methods research was to examine how population demographics (quantitative section) and cultural and behavioral factors (qualitative section) affect risk for contracting chlamydia trachomatis in the Miami-Dade, Florida area. The theory of reasoned behavior was the theoretical framework of the study. The quantitative component used secondary data from Jackson Health System (2012- 2018) pertaining to 333 Miami-Dade young adult individuals with incidents of chlamydia trachomatis by gender, ethnicity, and race. For the qualitative component, 13 health care providers were interviewed using purposeful sampling, and the qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. Quantitatively, proportion of sample data was compared to national data using z statistics. Chlamydia cases were more often in the Black versus White group and Hispanics versus non-Hispanics group in Miami-Dade area compared to the similar national proportions (z=4.9, p<0.0001, and z=6.4, p<0.0001, respectively). Qualitatively, health care providers reported a significant lack of education and awareness on the infection, especially in young populations in the Miami-Dade area. Social change can be achieved by using findings of this research to develop more effective public health initiatives regarding the spread of chlamydia trachomatis in the Black and Hispanic population as well as with health care providers.