Date of Award

8-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Food Science and Human Nutrition

Committee Member

Dr. Anglea Fraser, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Julia Sharp

Committee Member

Dr. Vivian Haley-Zitlin

Abstract

Background and Rationale: Worldwide, human norovirus is a significant public health problem. One way to reduce the burden of illness attributed to norovirus is to educate consumers about prevention and control strategies. A common vehicle to do so is the Internet. Unfortunately, the accuracy of information posted to the Internet is not well known as no universal review system is in place. Aim and Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine if web-based Spanish-language norovirus educational materials targeting consumers were clearly written and accurate (aligned with evidence-based prevention and control strategies). The objectives were: (1) determine if the web-based Spanish-language norovirus education materials targeting consumers are clearly written and accurate (aligned with evidence-based guidelines to control and prevent norovirus infections); (2) identify if there is a correlation between alignment and clarity scores of the web-based Spanish-language norovirus educational materials targeting consumers; and (3) analyze if the web-based Spanish-language norovirus educational materials targeting consumers differ in alignment and clarity across geographic regions. Methods: A content analysis of web-based Spanish-language norovirus education materials targeting consumers was performed to determine if materials were aligned with the CDC prevention and control strategies and were clearly written according to the CDC Clear Communication Index (CCI). A Google Advanced Search of the Word Wide Web (WWW) for Spanish-language norovirus education materials targeting consumers was performed. All materials were independently coded by two native Spanish speakers. For data analysis, response frequencies, mean alignment and clarity scores and ANOVA were calculated using JMP®. Results: The Google Advanced Search yielded 501 educational materials. After removing the educational materials according to the exclusion criteria, 26 eligible Spanish-language norovirus education materials were included. The total mean alignment scores for all six norovirus prevention and control strategies was low (11.6 of 33 points). The mean clarity score was also low (13.96 of 20 points), with all having a score less than CDC CCI's recommended value. Conclusions: Our findings suggest there is a need to either revise existing educational materials other create new materials. Specifically, these findings showed what information is missing from Spanish-language norovirus education materials that should be included. Additionally, these findings demonstrate the importance of using the CCI to evaluate if educational materials are clearly written and easy to understand.

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