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Perceptions and Motivations to the Utilization of Preventive Care by Labor Union Members

Sebastian, Jessica (2020) Perceptions and Motivations to the Utilization of Preventive Care by Labor Union Members. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The underutilization of preventive exams by labor union members in the transportation and
manufacturing industries, coupled with workplace barriers including long hours, unhealthy diets,
and lack of physical activity, put this population at high risk for chronic disease development.
Highmark insures over 17 million unionized workers and their families; taking a proactive
approach to healthcare is of utmost importance to employers in order to retain a productive
workforce with less turnover and decrease healthcare costs. The purpose of this inquiry project
was to conduct a needs assessment to understand the perceptions of and motivators to preventive
care utilization by labor union members. The participants are n=24 labor union members’ ages 18
and older from manufacturing and transportation labor unions in western and northeastern
Pennsylvania. A survey was promoted via email, word of mouth at a labor union trustee meeting,
and a mailed communication. The survey link was posted to a labor union Fund’s website.
Descriptive statistics (frequencies) were calculated to summarize participant demographics, health
status, and preventive care utilization data for the total group. Results from the adapted MAPP
Care Utilization Survey were calculated as frequencies for each individual item. Analyses were
run via pivot tables in Excel. Results indicated that preventive care utilization differed by
demographics including gender, age, occupation, and education level. The majority of participants
received at least one preventive exam within the last 12 months; however, descriptively, male
laborers used preventive care less frequently than those in other occupations. The health status of
participants was poor and over half reported having a chronic disease. Participants had a positive
attitude toward health care and their general practitioner. The top barriers to accessing preventive
care were time (95.7%, n=22) and knowledge of health benefits (39.1%; n=9). The top facilitators
to accessing preventive care were support from family/spouse (95.5%; n=21) and possessing health
insurance (95.5%; n=21). There were varying levels of workplace support and accommodations to
access preventive care within labor unions. Implications for practice include changes to workplace
policies in labor unions to promote job flexibility, increased support and modeling from Fund
managers and trustees, incentivize employees to participate in wellness and chronic disease
management programs, and offering employer-sponsored health plans to employees.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sebastian, Jessicajmk231@pitt.edujmk231
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTaverno Ross, Sharon E.seross@pitt.eduseross
Committee MemberFertman, Carlcarl@pitt.educarl
Committee MemberThomas,
Date: 2 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 30 June 2020
Approval Date: 2 September 2020
Submission Date: 24 July 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 73
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health and Physical Activity
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: preventive care, labor union, chronic disease, preventive exam, trucking, manufacturing, health insurance
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 15:41
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 15:41


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