Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Curtis Love

Second Committee Member

Robert Woods

Third Committee Member

William Werner

Fourth Committee Member

Gwen Marchand

Number of Pages



The purpose of this research is to determine the current state of research undertaken to provide insight into the motivational characteristics of medical travelers, as reported by scholarly publications in the last five years. As a part of the study, an exploration is undertaken of the four basic schools of psychological thought, as each have different explanations for human motivation. These four schools - psychodynamic, behavioral, humanistic, and cognitive or pragmatic - are examined in the light of six categories of medical travelers. The categories are those traveling for life-saving surgeries, for treatments to improve quality of life, for elective procedures, as well as those seeking diagnostic assessment, alternative (non-Western) medical treatments, or those with a primary goal of improving wellness.

Study results showed applicability of the psychodynamic, behavioral and humanistic theories to the medical traveler, and demonstrated different motivational drivers for each of the six categories of travelers. However, the conclusions are based upon the assertions of academic authors, for it was discovered a dearth of research exists examining the medical traveler's motives. Therefore, results from this study are useful primarily to guide such research in the future, with the intention of discovering whether the assertions that have been made are accurate. Areas of minimal consideration are also identified as these too carry the assumption of non-applicability which needs to be proven or disproven.


Medical tourism; Motivation (Psychology); Tourist motivation; Tourists


Business | Psychology | Tourism and Travel

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit