Term of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Andrew Hansen

Committee Member 1

Levi Ross

Committee Member 2

Rebecca Larson


Type 2 diabetes has become a serious issue affecting millions of Americans, especially in the southern United States. Georgia is one southern state where diabetes rates are high. Diabetes is exacerbated in rural areas where many communities are medically underserved. Therefore, diabetes prevention interventions that target rural communities in the South are needed to address this issue. Traditional methods of addressing diabetes in the South have not been effective. Innovative methods, such as worksite prevention programs, must be developed to combat the problem. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of the employer as a health advisor for type 2 diabetes prevention within small, locally-owned businesses in a rural community. This study focused on barbershops and sought to determine if a diabetes prevention education intervention where the owner of the barbershop is trained to educate his barbers about diabetes prevention could be implemented in the barbershop setting. Twenty in-depth interviews were conducted with the owners (n = 5) and barbers (n=15) of five barbershops in Statesboro, GA, to determine the feasibility of the intervention. This qualitative study used a grounded theory approach where codes were developed from the transcripts and themes emerged and were operationalized into theories. The results of this study showed that the owners and barbers all felt that the intervention was feasible and could be implemented in the barbershop. The owners and barbers felt that diabetes was an important issue in their community. The owners felt comfortable educating their barbers about diabetes prevention, and the barbers were receptive towards the idea of being educated by their employer. They also provided suggestions on how to improve the program. In order for this intervention to be effective, it must be tailored to fit within the barbershop environment. This intervention addresses known health disparities that exist in the African-American community and underscores the need for additional worksite health promotion programs in medically underserved communities.