Health Communication

Health Communication in the OU Department of Communication has three major areas of research as our strength: (a) health communication in interpersonal contexts, (b) health promotion and campaigns, and (c) organizational and health communication. Health communication in interpersonal contexts examines how individuals manage their illness events effectively and appropriately through social interactions. Faculty members in this area of research have examined how health literacy, communicative competence, and social support play a critical role in individuals’ illness management with their support network, including health care providers, family members, and supportive others. The area of health promotion and campaign adopts a perspective similar to that of public health researchers in exploring best practices in modifying individuals’ health behaviors (e.g., risk aversion/management and smoking cessation) through health education and implementation of different campaign strategies. Faculty members in this area of research have explored the effectiveness of campaign messages (e.g., message features), factors influencing individuals’ evaluation and interpretation of campaign messages (e.g., psychological and emotional factors), and different message outcomes (e.g., message effects and campaign evaluation). The area of organizational and health communication focuses on research such as community organizing and health, the emotion experiences of health professionals, healthcare ethics (e.g., informed consent, privacy), healthcare teams, managed care, physician assimilation, and health professionals’ coping with stress and burnout. Currently, faculty members’ research includes community organizing and health, healthcare ethics, and physician assimilation. Because the OU-Norman campus is 20 minutes away from the OU-Health Science Center campus at Oklahoma City and 2 hours away from the OU-Community Medicine campus at Tulsa, faculty members, physicians (including medical residents), and graduate students often collaborate on research projects across campuses. In addition, due to the strength in our intercultural communication program, many of our faculty members and students often conduct their studies in international settings, highlighting the culturally and socially constructed nature of health/illness management.

Typical Graduate Level Course Offerings:

 Comm 5263 Health Communication
 Comm 5393: Risk and Crisis Communication
 Comm 5453: Social influence
 Comm 5553 Persuasive Communication Campaigns
 Comm 6423 Communication in Health Organizations
 Comm 6023 Communication Research Task Groups
 Comm 6960 Directed Readings

Current Faculty with Research and/or Teaching Interests:

Claude Miller
Elaine Hsieh
Norman Wong
Elena Bessarabova
James Olufowote

Recent Dissertations in Health Communication:

Liu, Shr-Jie (2017). Reactance theory and self-construal in the East and West.

Lookadoo, Kathryn L. (2017). The addition of valence and narrative endings’ influence on the risk convergence model.  

Terui, Sachiko (2016). Cross-cultural comparisons on pathways between language barriers and health disparities

Haiying Kong (2016). Finding peace in life’s unexpected journey: The processes of grieving and identity transformation for mothers of children with Down Syndrome.

Pitoloka, Dyah. (2014). The (passive) violence of harmony and balance: Lived experiences of javanese women with Type 2 diabetes.


Recent Representative Faculty and Graduate Student Publications in Health Communication:

Adame, B. J. & Miller, C. H. (2015). Vested interest & disaster preparedness: Strategic campaign message design. Health Communication, 30, 271-281.

Hsieh, E. (in press). Reconceptulizing language discordance: Meanings and experiences of language barriers in the U.S. and Taiwan. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

Hsieh, E. (2017). Surviving violence in everyday life: A communicative approach to the homelessness. Social Work in Public Health, 32, 110-121.

Hsieh, E. (2017). Conceptualizing Bilingual Health Communication: Theorizing interpreter-mediated medical encounters. In E. A. Jacobs & L. C. Diamond (Eds.), Providing health care in the context of language barriers: International perspectives (pp. 35-55). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Hsieh, E. (2017). Cross-cultural care: When providers and patients do not share the same language. In J. Yamasaki, P. Geist-Martin, & B. F. Sharf (Eds.), Storied health and illness: Communicating personal, cultural & political complexities (2nd ed.; pp. 69-71). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

Hsieh, E. (2016). Voices of the homeless: An emic approach to the experiences of health disparities faced by people who are homeless. Social Work in Public Health, 31, 328-340.

Hsieh, E. (2016). Bilingual health communication: Working with interpreters in cross-cultural care. New York, NY: Routledge.

Hsieh, E., & Nicodemus, B. (2015). Conceptualizing emotion in healthcare interpreting: A normative approach to interpreters' emotion work. Patient Education and Counseling, 98, 1474-1481.

Hsieh, E., Bruscella, J., Zanin, A., & Kramer, E. M. (2016). “It’s not like you need to live 10 or 20 years”: Challenges to patient-centered care in gynecologic oncologist-patient interactions. Qualitative Health Research, 26, 1191-1202.

Hsieh, E. (2015). The Model of Bilingual Health Communication: Theorizing interpreter-mediated medical encounters. In E. A. Jacobs & L. C. Diamond (Eds.), Providing health care in the context of language barriers: International perspectives. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Hsieh, E. & Terui, S. (2015). Inherent tensions andchallenges of provider-patient communication: Implications for interpreter training in health care settings. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 43, 141-162.

Hsieh, E. (2015). Not just “getting by”: Factors influencing providers’ choice of interpreters. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 30, 75-82.

Hsieh, E. (2015). Healthcare interpreting. In F. Pöchhacker (Ed.), Routledge encyclopedia of interpreting studies (pp.177-182), New York, NY: Routledge.

Hsieh, E. (2015). Interpreting in institutions. In K. Tracy, C. Ilie, & T. L. Sandel (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of language and social interaction. New York, NY: Wiley. doi: 10.1002/9781118611463.wbielsi004

Hu, J. & Hsieh, E. (in press). Supportive relationships: Caring for our loved ones in cultural contexts. In E. B. Ray & A. du Pré (Eds.), Case studies: Real-life scenarios in health communication (pp.79-84). Oxford University Press.

Kramer, E. M. and Hsieh, E. (in press). Gaze as embodied ethics: Homelessness, the Other, and humanity. In Dutta, M. and Zapata, D. (Eds.), Communicating for social change: Intersection of theory and praxis. Singapore: Palgrave-McMillan.

Mason, A. M. & Miller, C. H. (2015). The ability of inoculation to confer resistance to potentially deceptive health-nutrition related advertising claims. Health Education Journal. doi: 10.1177/0017896915569365. Retrieved February 2, 2015, from the Sage Journals Website:

Miller, C. H., & Cortes Quantip, R. J. (2017). Anger in health and risk messaging. In R. Perrott (Ed.) Encyclopedia of health and risk message design and processing, New York: Oxford University Press (pp. 117-128).

Miller, C. H. (2015). Outcome relevant involvement and hedonic relevance. In D. K. Kim & J. Dearing (Eds.) Health Communication Measures. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 99-106.

Miller, C. H. (2015). Sensation seeking scales for adolescents and emerging adults. In D. K. Kim & J. Dearing (Eds.) Health Communication Measures. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 213-222.

Miller, C. H., & Adame, B. J. (2015).S cales for measuring the dimensions of vested interest. In D. K. Kim & J.Dearing (Eds.) Health Communication Measures. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 265-278.

Olufowote, J. O. (in press). Barriers and enablers of health in the socio-cultural context: A PEN3 assessment of HIV/AIDS prevention in Tanzania. Global Health Communication

Olufowote, J. O. & Aranda, J. (in press). The PEN-3 cultural model: A critical review of health communication for Africans and African immigrants. In R. Ahmed & Y. Mao (Eds.), Culture, migration, and health communication in a global context (pp. 176-190). New York: Routledge

Olufowote, J. O., Aranda, J., Wang, G. E., & Liao, D. (2017). Advancing the New Communications Framework for HIV/AIDS: The communicative constitution of HIV/AIDS networks in Tanzania’s HIV/AIDS NGO sector. Studies in Media and Communication, 5, 79-92.

Olufowote, J. O. (2017). An institutional field of people living with HIV/AIDS organizations in Tanzania: Agency, culture, dialogue, and structure. Frontiers in Communication [Health Communication section], 2, doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2017.00001

Olufowote, J. O. & Wang, G. E. (2016). Physician assimilation in medical schools: Dualisms of biomedical and biopsychosocial ideologies in the discourse of physician educators. Health Communication. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/10410236.2016.1167993

Olufowote, J. O. & Matusitz, J. (2016). “How dark a world it is…where mental health is poorly treated”: Mental illness frames in sermons given after the Sandy Hook shootings. Health Communication, 31, 1539-1547. doi:10.1080/10410236.2015.1089458

Olufowote, J. O. (2016). Identity constructions and inter-organizational collaboration: Islamic faith-based organizations and the polio vaccination stoppage in Northern Nigeria. Communication Quarterly. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/01463373.2015.1129354

Olufowote, J. O. (2015). Preparing future physicians in medical ethics: A tension-centered study of institutional and situational dualities. Communication Quarterly, 63, 254-271. doi: 10.1080/01463373.2015.1039713

Olufowote, J. O. (2014). Virtue training in medical schools: The perspective of behavioral science course directors. Health Communication. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2013.861307

Olufowote, J. O. (2014). Organizations and health. In T. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of health communication (Volume 2, pp. 1007-1010). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Olufowote, J. O., & Airhihenbuwa, C. O. (2014). Nigeria. In T. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of health communication (Volume 2, pp. 944-945). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Pitaloka, D. & Hsieh, E. (2015). Health as submission and social responsibilities: Embodied experiences of Japanese women with typeII diabetes. Qualitative Health Research, 25, 1155-1165.

Terui, S. & Hsieh, E. (2016). “Not homeless yet. I’m kind of couch surfing”: Finding identities for people at a homeless shelter. Social Work in Public Health, 31, 688-699.

Terui, S. & Hsieh, E. (2015). Japan. In G. A. Golditz (Ed.), Encyclopedia of cancer and society (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wang, G. & Hsieh, E. (2015). China. In G. A. Golditz (Ed.), Encyclopedia of cancer and society (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wong, N. C. H., Lookadoo, K. L., & Nisbett, G. W. (2017). “I’m Demi and I have bipolar disorder”: Effect of parasocial contact on reducing stigma toward people with bipolar disorder. Communication Studies. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2017.1331928.

Wong, N. C. H., Nisbett, G. S, & Harvell, L. A. (2016). Smoking is So Ew!: College Smokers’ Reactions to Health- vs. Social-Focused Antismoking Threat Messages. Health Communication. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1140264.

Wong, N. C. H. (2015). Vaccinations are safe and effective: Inoculating positive HPV vaccine attitudes against anti-vaccination attack messages. Communication Reports, 29, 127-138.

Wong, N. C. H., Harrison, K., Harvell, L. A. (2015). Reactance and public health messages: The unintended dangers of anti-tobacco PSAs. Studies in Media and Communication, 3, 72-83.

Wong, N. C. H. (2014). Predictors of information seeking about the HPV vaccine from parents and doctors among young college women. Communication Quarterly, 62, 75-96. Doi: 10.1080/01463373.2013.860905.

Wong, N. C. H (2014). Entertainment-education: Hollywood and public relations approach. In T. L. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of health communication (pp. 411-413). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wong, N. C. H (2014). Television. In T. L. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of health communication (pp. 1379-1383). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wong, N. C. H (2014). Readiness assessment. In T. L. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of health communication (pp. 1153-1155). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Recent Funding in Health Communication:

Dr. Elaine Hsieh; Quality of Care for Interpreter-Mediated Medical Encounters in Taiwan. 2015-2016 Core Fulbright U. S. Scholar; Arts, Education, Humanities, Professional Fields and Social Sciences-- Research (Award #5130), Taiwan. Sponsored by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Health Campaign for Homeless Shelter, Sooner Parents Mini-Grant $500, University of
Oklahoma. PI: Elaine Hsieh. Period: 08/15/2014 – 12/15/2014. *upper division undergraduate students designed and executed health campaign for people who are homeless in local communities.

Patient Communicative Competence in Gynecological Oncology. Sponsored by the University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center/Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust. PI: Elaine Hsieh. Period: 01/01/2012-06/30/2012. $60,335.

Faculty achievements:

Dr. Hsieh’s book, Bilingual health communication: Working with interpreters in cross-cultural care, was listed as “Highly Recommended” and "Top 75 Highly Recommended Titles for Community Colleges” by American Library Association in Feb 2017; Choice Review 54(6).