Research and Insights

Kentucky Conference on Health Care Communication

April 12-15, 2018
Lexington, Kentucky

Pre-Conference Panel

Janice Krieger, director, STEM Translational Communication Center

Using Virtual Humans to Deliver Cancer Prevention Interventions using the Patient Portal 

Conference Presentations

Lauren C. Bayliss, Ph.D. 2017, assistant professor of Public Relations, Department of Communication Arts/College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Georgia Southern University

Nutrition facts and consumption acts: Testing the effects of calorie label design on consumers’ decision-making processes

Abstract:  Effective July 2018, the FDA has changed the requirements for the nutrition facts label’s design.  These changes include increasing the font size of the calorie number to make it more than twice as large as any other information on the label.

Although many studies have addressed how emphasizing nutrition information such as calories influences perceptions of food healthiness (e.g. Hawley et al., 2013), current research does not indicate how increased emphasis on calorie information influences other antecedents to consumption decisions, such as expectations for how well the food will satisfy or fill the consumer (expected satiety).  Furthermore, very few studies have explored how label design influences actual portion selection.

Therefore, this study tests the effects of calorie emphasis, particularly the emphasis implemented in the redesigned nutrition facts label, on expected satiety and consumer portion size selections.

Jordan M. Neil, Ph.D. 2017, Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Harvard Medical School

Co-authors: Thomas J. George, Jr., University of Florida, Jeffrey Pufahl, University of Florida, Janice L. Krieger, University of Florida

The influence of patient identification and narrative transportation on intentions to participate in cancer research

Abstract: Cancer decision-making interventions commonly utilize narratives as a persuasive strategy to increase identification with the message source, promote involvement with the topic, and elicit greater willingness to adopt recommended behaviors. However, there is little empirical research examining the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of this strategy in the context of cancer research participation.

Data for the current manuscript were collected as part of a larger study conducted with cancer patients (N = 340) from the United States, United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. Participants viewed and evaluated video-recorded vignettes illustrating different strategies for discussing clinical trials participation with family members. Results showed nationality was a significant predictor of identification with the main character (i.e., patient) in the vignette. Unexpectedly, these cross-national differences in identification disappeared when patients currently undergoing treatment had higher perceived susceptibility of cancer.

Identification with main character in the vignettes was a significant predictor of intentions to participate in cancer research, but only when the mediating role of narrative transportation was considered. The findings demonstrate the importance of considering how individual and social identities influence identification with characters in cancer narratives and yield practical guidance for developing arts-based interventions to increase cancer research participation.

Samantha Paige, Ph.D. student, UF Department of Health Education and Behavior and STEM Translational Communication Center affiliate

Keeping Up with eHealth Literacy: An Application of the Transactional Model of Communication

Abstract:  Electronic health (eHealth) fosters the dynamic computer-mediated transaction of information and communication among online users. Consistent with the fundamental features of eHealth, the transactional model of communication functions under the assumption that interpersonal communication exists within a fluid state, meaning that the situation, intended communication and information goals, and communicators themselves are consistently changing and simultaneously influence one another.

Within the context of eHealth, the transactional model of communication can be conceptualized as a form of interpersonal computer-mediated communication (I-CMC). In I-CMC, “noise” consists of physical, psychological, and semantic factors that interfere with the ability to access, understand, and exchange information. To effectively and appropriately thrive in eHealth, a communicator must have the skills to manage or co-regulate these noise factors. In 2006, eHealth literacy was coined to understand patients’ skills to use and benefit from eHealth technologies and online health information. Current definitions and models of eHealth literacy, however, are outdated and do not account for this transactional and social nature of eHealth.

The purpose of this study was to conduct a concept analysis of eHealth literacy in the context of the transactional model of communication to derive an updated definition and model to guide its future understanding and measurement.