Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Clinical Nutrition

Committee Chair

Margrett Williams

Committee Member

Sullivan Sarah

Committee Member

Dale Bowman Armstrong


Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an autosomal recessive inborn error of metabolism. In PKU phenylalanine cannot be converted to tyrosine; when phenylalanine levels remain elevated intellectual disabilities, as well as other side effects, can occur. These side effects can be prevented if the phenylalanine levels remain within treatment range. The purpose of this study was to determine if the parents' understanding of PKU and demographics affected the children's phenylalanine level. A questionnaire was developed to asses the parents' understanding and demographics; these were then correlated to the child's average blood phenylalanine levels using Pearson's Correlation. The strongest relationship to the child's blood phenylalanine level was a negative relationship with the parent's understanding of the disorder. Other variables examined were parental age, number of children, employment, income, education, and marital status. In conclusion, the study demonstrated the need for the parents to understand their child's disorder for improved management of PKU.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

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