Friday, September 19, 2014

Perceptions of Substance Abuse on College Campuses: Proximity to the Problem, Stigma, and Health Promotion

A recent study I conducted is out at the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, which grew from a partnership with the UT Center for Students in Recovery.  The study, Perceptions of Substance Abuse on College Campuses: Proximity to the Problem, Stigma, and Health Promotion, looks at college students' perceptions of stigma around substance abuse and recovery.

The abstract is:
For college students recovering from substance addiction, the path to sobriety is fraught with challenges. Many campuses offer recovery support resources, but students indicate stigma associated with recovery prevents them from using these services. This problem could be ameliorated through communication campaigns addressing misperceptions of substance abuse and recovery. The purpose of this study was to understand how students’ perceptions of addiction and recovery vary based on their experience and background. A quantitative survey was employed to examine stigma beliefs among 2 subpopulations of college students at a large Southwestern university. Findings indicate students with exposure to issues surrounding substance abuse and recovery held fewer stigmatized beliefs, emphasizing the importance of identifying and researching a target audience before developing a health promotion campaign.
This was a really rewarding project, and I'm excited to keep doing more work in this area in the coming years.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Health Comm Job Hunters: Sign up for CRTNET!

For anyone out there looking for academic health communication jobs that aren't already signed up for CRTNET, head there now!  It's the time of year for position announcements, and there have been plenty of interesting looking health comm jobs out there. Just a tip, if you aren't already on that e-mail list.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Health Communication Professional Association Survey

There's a survey being administered by the Center for Health Communication at the University of Texas at Austin to assess the state of the field of health communication and the need for a professional society or organization. If you're interested in sharing your thoughts, please take it here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH)

This popped up in an e-mail or at a conference a couple weeks ago, and I'm just now having a chance to look at it...

The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) puts a ton of research and information online for researchers and other interested parties. I've sent this to a few students I'm working with who might find it useful, and I'm starting to dig into it myself. Looking forward to exploring what looks like a ton of information!

Friday, July 18, 2014

When Nurture Calls

I had a chance to speak at a statewide WIC conference a couple weeks ago, and one of the participants told me after my talk about a campaign called When Nurture Calls.

I love this campaign, as it seeks to normalize breastfeeding and create an environment where women won't be hassled for breastfeeding in public. I've been meaning to share this here ever since I heard about it, because this is just wonderfully done.

Friday, July 11, 2014

eHealth and Health Literacy: A Research Methodology Review

This article came out a bit ago, but I was a bit occupied with other things. Still, I want to point folks to an article I'm pretty excited about: eHealth and Health Literacy: A Research Methodology Review.
The development of e-health may provide powerful tools to improve health, but users' health literacy plays a role in their ability to make the most of e-health applications. This study reviewed research focused on e-health and health literacy, using content analysis to assess 95 articles from 2000 to 2010 to provide an overview of work done in this emerging field. Articles were coded for use of theory, research methods, and clarity of reporting study results. Findings indicate a lack of theory-driven design and evaluation of e-health applications, low use of established general health literacy measures, and interdisciplinary work with somewhat limited contributions by communication scholars. Implications for advancing this field of research are discussed.
This article was part of a bigger project to develop some e-health interventions for Portuguese seniors. It's over at the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, so go check it out.

Monday, July 7, 2014

User Evaluations of Design Complexity: The Impact of Visual Perceptions for Effective Online Health Communication

One of my outstanding advisees, Allison Lazard, has her first first-authored article out online at the International Journal of Medical Informatics. The study, User Evaluations of Design Complexity: The Impact of Visual Perceptions for Effective Online Health Communication, was a study of users' first impressions of health websites. The abstract:
ObjectiveThis paper highlights the influential role of design complexity for users’ first impressions of health websites.
MethodAn experimental design was utilized to investigate whether a website's level of design complexity impacts user evaluations. An online questionnaire measured the hypothesized impact of design complexity on predictors of message effectiveness.
ResultsFindings reveal that increased design complexity was positively associated with higher levels of perceived design aesthetics, attitude toward the website, perceived message comprehensibility, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, perceived message quality, perceived informativeness, and perceived visual informativeness. 
ConclusionThis research gives further evidence that design complexity should be considered an influential variable for health communicators to effectively reach their audiences, as it embodies the critical first step for message evaluation via electronic platforms.

This was a great project to work on, and I'm very happy for Allison that it's now out for others to read!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

UT Health Communication Scholars Program:

Last year I had the great opportunity to launch the Health Communication Scholars Program to help prepare communication graduate students for life as faculty collaborating with non-communication colleagues to design research projects and compete for grant funding. The first year was a great success, and the program and the first four funded student PIs were featured in a newsletter from the Provost's Teaching Fellows program that provides financial support for the HCSP. I'll take any excuse available to mention this program, since it's one of the most rewarding things I've done at UT.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

HARC VI Abstract Deadline: July 11

Just a friendly reminder that the HARC abstract submission deadline is coming quickly - July 11. I really enjoyed going to HARC a couple years ago, and I know a few of my students had an excellent experience there last year. If you're interested in health literacy research and have something that could be ready by July 11, you should definitely think about submitting. Head to the HARC call for abstracts.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

New Journal: Pedagogy in Health Promotion

I received a couple e-mails about this, so I wanted to share since it might be of interest to both readers and authors out there...  SOPHE is launching a new journal called Pedagogy in Health Promotion.  From the intro to the journal on its main page:
Pedagogy in Health Promotion: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (PHP) advances pedagogy through contributions in areas such as curriculum and course/program design, assessment, and administration relevant to teaching and learning. The quarterly journal welcomes works addressing the art and science of teaching and learning, and how it contributes to the formation and ongoing development of the health promotion professional working in any site and with a range of populations. The content of the journal is relevant to faculty in professional preparation and to instructors or trainers who provide continuing professional education, in the broad arena of public health, health promotion and disease prevention.
I don't know that I have anything in the pipeline that would be a perfect fit for this, but I certainly plan on keeping it in mind for future submissions. Looks like a great outlet!