Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level





George E. Kiser

Committee Member

P. H. Taylor

Second Committee Member

C. P. Rao


Disease prevention, elderly Arkansas consumers, preventative health care, consumer attitude


It appears that in today’s United States, the burden of disease prevention is assigned to the consumer. This study examines perceptions, health related information, and demographic data of a sample of elderly Arkansas consumers, with respect to preventive health care. The 226 respondents of the survey are members of the Arkansas Household Research Panel and over fifty-five years of age.

The data gathered were subjected to standard parametric and nonparametric statistical tests, factor analysis, cluster analysis, and discriminant analysis. The analysis identified two major segments. One, with seventy percent of the total, consists of respondents having a predominantly positive attitude in favor of health prevention and against the existing health care practices. The second one with twenty-five percent of the total, consists of respondents having negative positions on these issues. Additionally, it was found, that although there is no significant demographic difference between the two segments, there is a significant health difference. Respondents belonging to the second cluster are in a better health than the other respondents.

The findings, with respect to the predominant segment, indicate that its respondents: (a) are ready for and needful of complete disease diagnostic/prevention services, (b) are ready to pay a reasonable price for them, (c) will travel in order to find suitable health care services, (d) are affected by word-of-mouth publicity, (e) demand more respect as customers, (f) ask for more substantiated explanations related to the treatment of symptoms by health organizations, and (g) are not necessarily loyal to their present health care institutions.