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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Hass


Previous research has identified lower health literacy and limited social support as obstacles for patients seeking transplant listing. However, both have been examined as separate and independent barriers. This thesis challenges traditional views by integrating cultural health capital theory to explore barriers in transplant listing for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. Surveying 284 ESRD patients undergoing or having completed kidney transplant evaluation, it found higher Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) scores, education, and income correlated with completing medical evaluations for waitlisting. Medical Cultural Capital significantly predicted engagement with healthcare providers, system navigation, and active health management. Transplant-specific literacy hindered engagement and navigation but boosted health management. Social support had a nuanced role: diminishing engagement and navigation but enhancing health management. Non-white patients displayed slightly lower engagement but stronger health management. These results highlight the importance of bureaucratic knowledge and cultural capital over technical knowledge in health outcomes, challenging conventional assumptions.