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Social disorganization theory and Hepatitis C incidence

Heilman, Dana (2017) Social disorganization theory and Hepatitis C incidence. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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A growing body of research has demonstrated that community-level factors influence health-related behaviors and outcomes. While Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) incidence is increasing, in large part due to the opioid epidemic, little is known about the ways in which community environments impact its spread. The existing literature implies that individual-level factors are not sufficient to predict rates and spread of injection-related infectious diseases; the environment is crucial in determining risk-taking and protective factors. Social disorganization theory provides a framework for examining community indicators that may be associated with HCV risk behaviors, such as injection drug use, and/or HCV incidence.
The ability to predict HCV rates using community-level indicators has significant public health value; it could allow public health officials to identify areas at risk for outbreak and could facilitate targeted prevention interventions. Syringe Access Programs (SAPs), or Needle Exchange Programs (NEPs), are demonstrated effective public health interventions that prevent the spread of HCV. With limited resources and increasing opioid use, community-level predictors could guide NEP efforts to communities with the greatest need and fewest resources.
The current study hypothesized that there is a statistically significant difference in HCV rates between neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, PA, based on indicators of social disorganization and that needle exchange utilization moderates the relationship between neighborhood social disorganization and HCV. These hypotheses were tested using correlations and linear regressions. An exploratory analysis was also conducted to examine trends that might inform the locations of needle distribution and to provide suggestions for future research.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Heilman, Danadmh95@pitt.edudmh95
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMair, Christinacmair@pitt.educmairUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberRosen, Danieldannyrosen@pitt.edudar15UNSPECIFIED
Date: 10 August 2017
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 53
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2017 15:29
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2017 15:29


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