Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Health Promotion

Committee Chair

Amanda J Young

Committee Member

Ruthbeth D Finerman

Committee Member

Katherine Hendrix

Committee Member

Sandra Sarkela


Using communication theories and anthropological models, I analyze the narratives of community members who are caretakers of children ages 5 and under in Southwest Uganda to situate rural community members as problem solvers whose insights can be used to inform sustainable and effective public health strategies that can lead to improved health outcomes. Throughout my analysis, I uncover themes and concepts from community members' narratives that demonstrate that health-seeking behaviors of rural community members are largely shaped by perceptions of interpersonal and social trust in local health care practitioners. Additionally, an analysis of discourse from patient-provider interactions in biomedical and indigenous settings demonstrates that community members bring a high level of certainty (that they will receive medicine from biomedical health practitioners and that indigenous health practitioners will share the same spiritual beliefs) in each setting that sets the tone of dialogue between patient and provider. These and other research findings that help us understand rural community members' experiences seeking health care, understand the value they place on indigenous and biomedical health care systems, and understand their health care needs, are used to advocate for a community-based health initiative that meets the community's self-identified need for increased preventive and self-treatment health knowledge.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.