Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communications



First Advisor

Charla Shaw Markham


In the U.S., the number of people with diabetes is estimated to surpass 330 million by 2030. Previous research has focused on the direct link between communication and a person's overall health. Strong patient-provider interaction, medical education through community events and outreach, and stable support systems within family and friends can improve a person's awareness which leads to an increased health literacy level and better well-being. The health literacy level of an individual has been shown to have a direct impact on a person's overall health. Social support and corresponding communication have also been shown as vital. This study used a mixed-methods survey to examine how diabetes health literacy levels impact the communication of support to a person with diabetes. The hypothesis was supported, showing a relationship between interaction with a person with diabetes and an increased diabetes health literacy level. This study is the first to examine how support is communicated to a person with diabetes while also examining the role of health literacy. Recommendations for future research based on the findings are offered in an effort to examine the importance of types of support and levels of diabetes health literacy.


Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Communication Commons