Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

Communication, Professional

Date of Award

5-2004

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Amber E. Kinser

Committee Members

Kelly A. Dorgan, Charles V. Roberts

Abstract

This study examined women's health messages found on ten endometriosis websites. Qualitative research methods were used to investigate messages available via Internet media about causes and treatments of endometriosis, particularly as they relate to the suggestion that hysterectomy and pregnancy are effective treatments. Messages about infertility, physician-patient communication, and accessibility were also examined. Findings indicate that the websites provided similar messages regarding the symptoms, causes, and treatments of endometriosis; results pertaining to infertility were mixed. Little information was available on methods of improving physician-patient communication. Most websites provided additional low-cost information while requiring minimal technological competency or additional software of site patrons. The results of this study have implications for future research in medical science and communication and reflect the importance of research on women's health communication. A detailed discussion of findings and suggestions for further research are offered. The author's own experiences with endometriosis are incorporated into the analysis.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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