Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. M. Michele Burnette

Second Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates

Third Advisor

Dr. William K. Redmon

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Morry Edwards


The purpose of this research was to extend the existing literature by assessing the relationship between several factors separately and combined, nutrition, fitness and stress, and herpes recurrence rates. It was hypothesized that the results from this study would indicate an inverse correlation between nutrition, fitness, and genital herpes recurrence rates and a positive correlation between stress and genital herpes. Each participant was asked to complete and return (a) two Computerized Nutrition Assessment Forms that provide a health history profile and a record of food choices and portions over two, three-day periods; (b) The Hassle Scale that provides a weekly measure of self-reported stress level over a 12-week period; and (c) a Daily Log that provides a daily record of herpes outbreaks, severity and/or symptoms over a 12-week period. In addition, each participant was asked to participate in a fitness test. The results indicated that: nutrition, fitness and stress, assessed combined and separately, did not predict the recurrence rates of genital herpes for the participants in this study. In fact, when comparing scores obtained from the fitness testing and the stress inventory with recurrence rates data, the trend was slightly in the opposite direction than that hypothesized. However, when these data were plotted individually, 5 of the 29 participants demonstrated high stress severity concurrent with high genital herpes recurrence rates.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access