The Relationships Among Health Education Learning Projects, Educational Attainment Level, and T-cell Count for Adults With HIV Disease In the Southern United States

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

W. Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


Caring for the increasing number of individuals with HIV disease and keeping them otherwise well is a major task for the health care system. Health education is a popular and appropriate approach to the promotion of health maintaining strategies. This study was designed to examine the relationships among health education learning projects, educational attainment level, and T-cell count for adults with HIV disease. Data were collected from 36 volunteer, active participants recruited from the southern United States. The researcher interviewed respondents utilizing Allen Tough's Interview Schedule for Studying Some Basic Characteristics of Learning Projects (1975) which was modified to focus on health education. In addition, data were collected on nonhealth-related learning projects, educational resources used, and possible health-promoting strategies practiced by the sample. The group was composed predominantly of younger to middle-aged, white males; however, three races and both sexes were represented. Using multiple regression analysis, a significant relationship was found between health education learning projects (number of learning projects and number of hours spent in learning projects) and the educational attainment level of the sample. The average number of health education learning projects per respondent was 4.2 projects, and the average number of hours spent in health education learning projects was 319.4. There were no significant relationships related to the number of resources used in learning projects or the T-cell count of the individual. The projects were largely self-planned, used discussion as the main methodology, and occurred in service agencies. Positive outcomes were predominant; however, meaningful neutral and negative outcomes were recorded.