Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Public Health

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport

Document Type



Breast self-examinations, pap smears, Obstetrician and Gynecologist (OBGYN) visits, mammograms, and other preventative measures are all vital pieces of women’s health that can help determine a variety of issues and illnesses (U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2020). Women are presumed to have acquired information on these issues through certain sources to guide them through their adult lives. Not every woman is familiar with, or follows, the recommended guidelines for breast self-examination or gynecological visits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 94,000 U.S. women are diagnosed each year with some form of gynecologic cancer, which disproportionately affects underserved and minority populations (CDC, 2019b). If these women were aware of their risk had access to better health care, their cancer may have been prevented or detected earlier. The purpose of this study is to identify these factors influencing a woman’s decision to seek preventative and regular health care.

The 33-question survey was developed to collect data and administered to female students enrolled in classes and student organizations at Western Kentucky University (WKU) during spring 2020 semester through Qualtrics, face-to-face classes and at various organizations’ meetings. Results showed that socioeconomic and minority status as well as access to proper insurance coverage were all key variables. Most health information is learned from family members with some areas were also learned from doctors.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Grace Lartey, Ph.D.


Public Health | Women's Health