Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

David B. Van Heemst

Second Advisor

Karen D. Wiegman

Third Advisor

Kelly S. Brown

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Interdisciplinary Integration


The problem that the current study addressed was the absence of an intrapersonal health communication guide that profiled the different types of locus of control and the health outcomes, behaviors and perceptions that are associated with each type for individuals diagnosed with MS. Individuals suffering from MS and their healthcare providers do not understand the correlation between health beliefs and physical and emotional health. The research questions were designed to examine the relationship between these variables. Recruiting was completed through a social media based methodology that included online MS communities, Craigslist, Facebook, and Twitter. In total, 164 participants were recruited for the study. Participants completed an online survey that consisted of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale, the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey, the CAM usage questionnaire, and the Health Care Climate Questionnaire. Correlational analysis was used to determine that internal health locus of control was associated with improved general health, less pain, better physical, emotional, and social functioning, and more energy. Increased self-rated health was found to be correlated with increased acupuncture and yoga use, and less usage of general practitioners, hospitals, over-the counter medications, and pharmaceutical medications. This study has implications for physicians who can utilize the health beliefs of patients in the clinical setting and for the design and implementation of participatory intervention programs to assist individuals diagnosed with MS in recognizing the potential power of their health beliefs.


Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2017 for Olivet Nazarene University.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License