Research

Conference Presentations

Following are conference presentations from STCC staff and affiliates.

International Association of Language and Social Psychology Writing Retreat

Canmor, Alberta
June 24-15, 2018

Janice Krieger, director, STEM Translational Communication Center

Keynote Address: Inspired Writing: Communication Approaches to Knowledge Translation

Summary: Many people enter academia inspired to engage in scholarship that makes a positive difference in society. Too often, scholars end up frustrated because they have difficulty connecting their research with the stakeholders that they believe would benefit from their research. By focusing on the co-creation of knowledge structures and value systems, translational communication bridges the gap between scholarship and communities of practice.

Dr. Krieger ‘s keynote will weave principles of effective knowledge translation with inspired and effective writing practice in the context of language and social psychology. She will discuss the key theoretical and methodological approaches underpinning the successful application of knowledge translation. Dr. Krieger will also lead a guided writing practice in which audience members will identify the inspiration for their research, focus on specific stakeholders that stand to benefit from their science, create a strategy for translating their knowledge for that audience, and design a writing practice that facilitates effective knowledge translation with key stakeholders.

International Communication Association Conference 2018

May  24-29, 2018
Prague, Czech Republic

Jordan Alpert, assistant professor of Advertising

“If I’m dying, I want a call”: Patient and Oncologist views of Patient Portal Communication

Co-authors: Bonny Morris, Virginia Commonwealth University; Maria Thomson, Virginia Commonwealth University; Khalid Matin, Virginia Commonwealth University; Richard Brown, Virginia Commonwealth University

Abstract: Patient portals are becoming widespread throughout healthcare systems. Initial research has demonstrated that they positively impact patient-provider communication and patients’ health knowledge, but little is known about their impact in the cancer setting, where highly complex and uncertain medical data is available for patients to view. To better understand communicative behaviors and perceptions of the patient portal and how it is utilized in oncology, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 48 participants: 35 patients and 13 oncologists. Thematic analysis identified that portals help to enhance participation during in-person consultations, increase patients’ self-advocacy and builds rapport with providers. However, patients’ comfort level with reviewing information via the portal depended upon the severity of the test. Oncologists worried about patient anxiety and widening health disparities, but acknowledged that the portal can motivate them to expedite communication about laboratory and scan results.

Carla Fisher, assistant professor of Advertising

Examining predictors of diagnosed fathers’ openness with adult sons about prostate cancer and familial risk

Abstract: Relational openness is an important predictor of fathers’ openness about PCa/risk with sons. That masculinity did not predict openness about PCa/risk might be due to adaptation to PCa or sample characteristics (e.g., predominantly White, non-Hispanic). Being from the U.S. predicted openness with sons about familial risk and screening, a finding that warrants further investigation. Preliminary qualitative results support the finding that family history of PCa predicts greater openness about PCa. Fathers’ passionate voices about managing PCa/risk communication with sons more openly than their own fathers did with them helps explain this finding.

Yulia Strekalova, research assistant professor

Using Social Media to Assess Care Coordination Goals and Plans for Leukemia Patients and Survivors

Co-author: Kimberly E. Hawkins, University of Florida; Leylah Drusbosky, University of Florida; Cristopher Cogle, University of Florida

Abstract: Care coordination has been shown to have a positive effect on the management of chronic disease. Specific to the management of leukemia, coordination may occur among primary care physician, medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cardiologists, and genetics specialists. Experiencing gaps in communication and care coordination, many health consumers seek instrumental support in their social circles, including online forums and networks. The goal of this theory-guided study was to provide an in-depth assessment of how individuals use online forums to deliberate about their goals and plans for leukemia care coordination. Guided by the planning theory of communication, the data were collected from the American Cancer Society Cancer Survivors Network and included 125 original posts and 1,248 responses. Thematic analysis and axial coding were applied to analyze the data. Goal-related themes included overcoming the diffusion of care coordination and achieving health management cohesion. Planning themes included social health management, communication self-efficacy, and role deliberation. Online patient forums provide an interactive platform for patients and caregivers to engage in active conversations, which in turn can serve as idenitifiers of care coordination needs. Communication with those who share similar experiences allows cancer patients and survivors to accumulate functional health literacy, gain communication self-efficacy, and articulate a care coordination role acceptable to them.

Rachel Damiani, doctoral student

A ‘Two-Way Street’: Exploring How Scientists and Citizen Scientists Accommodate to Create a Shared Language

Co-author: Janice Krieger, University of Florida

Abstract: When members from different social groups interact, such as citizen scientists and scientists, they either adjust to or deviate from the language needs of their partner, according to the Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT). Cultivating citizen scientists’ voices in research hinges upon their engagement with scientists who use a highly nuanced language of science, or jargon. However, it remains unknown whether scientists are accommodating to citizen scientists’ needs. Thus, the purpose of this case study was to uncover how citizen scientists and scientists navigate the language of science. We conducted in depth interviews (N = 24) and participant observations hours (N = 30) with citizen scientists and scientists. Our results revealed that scientists accommodated to citizen scientists when their perceptions of citizen scientists’ jargon preferences aligned with citizen scientists’ actual preferences. This finding suggests that a dynamic and dyad-driven application of the CAT can facilitate communication between scientists and citizen scientists.

Beyond Grant Funding: Scientists’ and Patients’ Perceptions of the Costs and Benefits of Patient-Centered Research

Co-author: Janice Krieger, University of Florida

Abstract: Representing the voices of patients in health research has become increasingly pervasive due to its potential to improve health outcomes. Despite governmental and monetary support for patient involvement, little is known about how participating researchers and patients perceive the costs and benefits of collaborating with one another. Thus, the purpose of this study was to uncover patients’ and researchers’ costs and benefits to participating in patient-centered health using the social exchange theory as a theoretical framework. We conducted in-depth interviews (N = 24) with patients and researchers who had both participated in patient-engaged research. The results of this study extend the current literature about patient stakeholder engagement by providing theoretically-grounded data about scientists’ and patients’ perceived costs and benefits of working together in health research. These findings can be addressed by program coordinators to reduce both groups perceived costs and enhance the benefits of their participation

Practice Makes Empowered: Cultivating Elderly Patients’ Voices to Protect their Health through an Interactive Training

Co-authors: Debbie Treise, University of Florida; Summer Shelton,University of Florida; Amanda Kastrinos, University of Florida

Abstract: Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) result in approximately 75,000 deaths each year. Elderly patients are particularly susceptible to contracting HAIs. Physicians can reduce the spread of HAIs by washing their hands; however, handwashing compliance remains suboptimal. The CDC urges patients to remind their physicians to wash their hands, but older patients are reluctant to make this request. Thus, the purpose of this study was to empower elderly patients to ask their physicians to wash their hands through a training video. We conducted focus groups with elderly people (N = 82) to uncover their specific barriers to making the request. Then, we addressed their concerns in a training that allowed them to practice making the request. In-depth interviews (N = 19) revealed that elderly patients felt confident to make the request after completing the training. Empowering elderly patients can reduce the spread of deadly HAIs and encourage older people to voice their concerns.

Elizabeth Flood-Grady, post-doctoral associate

How Cancer Patients and Caregivers’ Preferences for Receiving Web-based Materials Influence their Decision to Participate in Cancer Clinical Trials

Co-authors: Samantha Paige, University of Florida; Rachel Damiani,University of Florida; Donghee Lee, University of Florida; Jordan Neil,University of Florida; Deaven Freed, University of Florida; Janice Krieger,University of Florida

Abstract: Tailoring is effective at shaping individuals’ health decisions. Yet, research has not examined patients and caregivers’ preferences for receiving online materials or how receiving information in a format that matches their preferences affects cancer-related decisions. Participants (N = 206) were randomly assigned to a Perceived Tailoring Condition (PTC) or a Non-Tailored Comparison (NTC) and asked to provide insight on a website created for cancer patients to help them make better decisions about treatment. There were no differences in patients and caregivers’ preferences for web-based materials. Participants who indicated a preference for receiving information in multiple format types perceived the website matched their preferences more than those with mixed (unmatched) preferences. Our mediation model with perceptions that information matched preferences (IV), intention to seek information about CCTs (mediator), and to participate in a cancer registry (DV) was significant. The effect was stronger among those who perceived the website had been tailored.

Lauren Griffin, post-doctoral associate

Applying User-Centered Design Principles to the Development of a Colon Cancer Screening mHealth App

Co-authors: Alyssa Jaisle, University of Florida; Peter Carek, University of Florida; Thomas George, University of Florida; Janice Krieger, University of Florida; Eric Laber, North Carolina State University; Benjamin Lok,University of Florida; Francois Modave, University of Florida; Folakemi Odedina, University of Florida

Abstract: More mHealth applications (apps) reach consumers each year. However, the design process for many of these apps draws heavily from the existing health infrastructure, which may be ill-suited for adaption in the online sphere. Thus, there is a need to develop mHealth applications to improve public health using standardized processes in order to take into consideration the context and needs of all users. This paper presents a case study in the development and implementation of an mHealth app to encourage rural patients over the age of 50 to request a regular colorectal cancer (CRC) screening test from their physician. Our methods include participant observation and focus groups and we apply user-centered design (UCD) principles to develop and describe the phases of the app development process. The case study presents information about the development of the app gathered through participant observation and interviews with the co-investigators, as well as document analysis.

Donghee Lee, doctoral student

Does Natural Mean Healthy? How Natural Label Contributes to Nutritional Self-Betrayal Among Health-Conscious Consumers

Co-author: Janice Krieger, University of Florida

Abstract: Thanks to the recent surge of interest in health and well-being, American consumers are more health-conscious now than ever. Despite this awareness, however, even self-described health- conscious consumers still eat unhealthy food for pleasure. This study provides a conceptual model describing the process through which health-conscious individuals may justify unhealthy food consumption. Using the Cognitive Dissonance Theory, this paper argues that individuals rely on the loophole effect, which refers to the psychological process of engaging in active self- deceit. Individuals can use this effect to capitalize on the healthfulness commonly associated with the word “natural” that often appears on the labels of unhealthy food, convincing themselves that the food is actually good for them. Once health-conscious individuals recognize a natural label on the unquestionably unhealthy food package, they experience guilt from the conflict between their health and hedonic goals. This paper provides a counterargument to widely-accepted information deficit models in this field by arguing that the unhealthy food choices of consumers are founded neither on the lack of information nor their vulnerability to food manufacturers’ deceitful advertising. Rather, consumers are an active agent making self- serving choices, using a “natural” label as an excuse to attribute blame for their health and hedonic goal conflict. This paper attempts to advance Cognitive Dissonance Theory by presenting possible factors influencing one’s food-related dissonance process.

Samantha Paige, doctoral student

Exploring the Psychometric Properties of a Health Information Seeking Scale among Older Adults with Chronic Disease

Co-authors: Elizabeth Flood-Grady, University of Florida; Janice L. Krieger,University of Florida; Michael Stellefson, University of Florida; M. David Miller, University of Florida

Abstract: This study presents a psychometric assessment of four items from the National Health Information Trends Survey (HINTS) that measure perceived health information seeking challenges. An online survey was completed by 684 patients in the USA living with chronic disease. The unidimensional structure was confirmed. Item and person fit statistics were within appropriate ranges with inconsistent evidence for measurement stability. Greater challenges were associated with being older, female, and having a high degree of eHealth literacy and trust in online medical doctors. Findings support the use of this scale among the intended population and provide implications for scale improvement.

Kentucky Conference on Health Care Communication

April 12-15, 2018
Lexington, Kentucky

Janice Krieger, director, STEM Translational Communication Center

Pre-Conference Panel

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

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.

Association for Clinical and Translational Science 2018

April 19-20, 2018
Washington, D.C.

Rachel Damiani, doctoral student, Samantha Paige, doctoral student, Elizabeth Flood-Grady, STEM Translational Communication Center (STCC) post-doctoral associate, Vaughan James, doctoral student, Edward Neu, doctoral student and Janice Krieger, director, STCC

“Translation is a Team Sport”: Exploring Scientists’ Perceptions of a Clinical and Translational Science Institute as a Vehicle for Collaboration

Presenting:  Vaughan James

Abstract: Although collaborations among researchers are critical to advancing translational health research initiatives, scholars have discovered a myriad of barriers preventing scientists from effectively collaborating with one another. The National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) supports initiatives, such as the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program (CTSA), to alleviate these barriers by providing researchers with resources and a shared space to collaborate with one another. However, scientists’ perceptions of the value of the CTSA Program or its potential to foster interdisciplinary collaborations is largely unknown. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine how scientists perceive the role and value of the CTSA in terms of their collaborative pursuits.

Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, we conducted a survey (N = 913) followed by in-depth interviews (N = 15) with scientists at a CTSA-funded institution to assess their perceptions of the CTSI. Preliminary analysis indicates that many scientists lacked awareness about the breadth and accessibility of CTSA resources. Additionally, while many scientists viewed the CTSA as integral to the university, few perceived its resources as vital to their own collaborative research pursuits. We anticipate that this study’s results will lead to actionable recommendations that CTSIs can implement to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations among scientists across the translational research spectrum.

Elizabeth Flood-Grady, Vaughan James,  Janice Krieger

Community Forums as a Channel for Communicating with the Public to Influence Perceptions of Cancer Clinical Trials

Presenting:  Elizabeth Flood-Grady

Abstract: Cancer clinical trials (CCTs) are vital tools in the advancement of cancer prevention and treatment. Yet, only 3-5% of eligible patients enroll in CCTs. Low participation can be attributed, in part, to poor communication and a lack of understanding about CCTs. In order to increase participation, interventions should foster meaningful communication about cancer prevention and CCTs, especially between medical professionals and members of the community. Community forums offer a to communicate about cancer with members public and to educate prospective patients about CCTs. Thus, our goal was to evaluate the efficacy of conducting community forums about CCTs at changing public perceptions of cancer and CCT participation.

During the Spring of 2016, participants (N = 51) who attended a community forum about CCTs completed a pre-test and post-test survey assessing their understanding and perceptions of CCTs. Results from the pre to post-test survey revealed a significant positive increase (p = .01) in participants’ attitudes toward cancer clinical research as well as marginally significant increases in participants’ perceived subjective norms (p = .06) about participating in CCTs and the perceived personal relevance (p = .06) of clinical research participation pre- and post-test. Findings suggest that community forums about cancer and CCTs could lead to an increased awareness and understanding of CCTs among members of the population and could be useful channels for cancer interventions.

International Association of Language and Social Psychology Writing Retreat

Canmor, Alberta
June 24-15, 2018

Janice Krieger, director, STEM Translational Communication Center

Keynote Address: Inspired Writing: Communication Approaches to Knowledge Translation

Summary: Many people enter academia inspired to engage in scholarship that makes a positive difference in society. Too often, scholars end up frustrated because they have difficulty connecting their research with the stakeholders that they believe would benefit from their research. By focusing on the co-creation of knowledge structures and value systems, translational communication bridges the gap between scholarship and communities of practice.

Dr. Krieger ‘s keynote will weave principles of effective knowledge translation with inspired and effective writing practice in the context of language and social psychology. She will discuss the key theoretical and methodological approaches underpinning the successful application of knowledge translation. Dr. Krieger will also lead a guided writing practice in which audience members will identify the inspiration for their research, focus on specific stakeholders that stand to benefit from their science, create a strategy for translating their knowledge for that audience, and design a writing practice that facilitates effective knowledge translation with key stakeholders.