Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

Major Professor

Marilyn Stern, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Linda M. Callejas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Alicia Best, Ph.D.


alcohol, body mass index, heath literacy, tobacco


There is an increasing need for research addressing the health concerns faced in cancer survivorship. Research has indicated that racial and ethnic minority cancer survivors are at increased risk for negative health outcomes, and some findings suggest that health literacy may play a role. Yet, few studies have explored how relations among heath information barriers, weight status, and health behaviors may differ by race and ethnicity in cancer survivors. Objectives: 1) To explore whether health information barriers are associated with weight status, cigarette use, and alcohol use among cancer survivors, 2) To explore the moderating role of race and ethnicity on the relationships among barriers to health information, weight status, cigarette use, and alcohol use among cancer survivors. Method: The current study involved secondary analysis of the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey data from Louisiana. Results: Bivariate analyses revealed racial and ethnic minority survivors were more likely to report difficulties understanding health-related information. Regression analyses showed that having greater difficulty understanding information from health professionals was associated with higher BMI; however, none of the three health information barriers were associated with either smoking or alcohol use after controlling for demographic variables. In the present study, the causality assumption for moderation was not met, and for this reason analyses were not conducted to test the moderating effect of race/ethnicity. Conclusion: Findings suggest health literacy interventions targeting obesity may help improve health outcomes for cancer survivors, and minimize racial and ethnic disparities in health literacy.