Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Geography and Geosciences

Committee Chair

Hanchett, Carol L.

Author's Keywords

Human monocytic ehrlichiosis; Health Belief Model; Ticks; Awareness; Tick-borne diseases; GIS


Tick-borne diseases; Health behavior; Health attitudes; Health education--Social aspects


Human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME), a tick-borne disease that has recently surfaced in the United States, exists in regions where the tick vector population is established. This study utilizes methods that look beyond identifying high-risk regions, and investigates disparate awareness, self-perceived threat, and seriousness of HME to further enhance existing spatial modeling. The Health Belief Model provides a theoretical framework that encompasses the disease ecology aspect of medical geography to understand the relationship between people and their environment by surveying participants in study regions of Missouri. Results are suggestive that awareness differs between high/low incidence regions. Furthermore, education and income were found to be significant to overall awareness. The frequency of finding ticks, age, and overall concern and awareness were important factors in the decision to use preventative strategies against ticks. These results can be used to focus efforts by state health departments to increase awareness of this important disease.