Date of Conferral





Public Health


Aaron Mendelsohn


Guided by the gender-analysis-matrix theoretical framework, 3 key areas of research inquiries focused on the relationship between sex and Lyme disease, symptoms of Lyme disease and sex, and severity of Lyme disease symptoms on sex. A quantitative secondary data analysis was used to address the research questions. A clinician specializing in caring for individuals with Lyme disease provided the dataset, containing responses to the Horowitz Multiple Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome Questionnaire for Lyme disease. A cross-sectional, comparative research design incorporating 2 statistical techniques for analysis—the independent samples t test and multivariable regression analyses—was used to examine symptom counts and the severity of symptom, scoring the severity. Study findings from 235 participants (40 males, 17%, and 195 females, 83%) indicated no sex differences in type, number, and severity of chronic Lyme disease symptoms. The top 5 Lyme disease symptoms—fatigue, disturbed sleep, stiff neck or back, neck cracks, and joint pain—ranked the same for males and females, varying little in percentages. The positive social change implications derived from the findings of this study are to improve understanding of sex differences in chronic Lyme disease. This study not only addressed clinical presentations, but also issues of sex bias, which can result in the development and implementation of sex-based medical, psychological, and social interventions leading to epidemiological interventions to reduce the prevalence of this debilitating disease.