e-Health Research Symposium

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Friday, February 6, 2015

Research Projects:

Improving Prenatal Health Communication: Engaging Men via e-Health

The purpose of this project is to develop an e-health intervention that could be used to engage men in issues around prenatal health. It builds on pilot work conducted by members of this team, and it will involve:

(1) building a new e-health intervention specifically for men,

(2) evaluating the intervention qualitatively with a local U.S. sample and quantitatively with a nationally representative U.S. sample, and

(3) evaluating the intervention in Portugal to enable cross-cultural comparisons of its utility.

The entire team will be involved in the development and evaluation of the intervention, as well as efforts to disseminate findings.

Principal Investigators:

Michael Mackert, PhD – Department of Advertising, UT Austin; The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health

Manuel José Damásio, PhD – School of Communication, Arts and Information Technologies, Lusophone University of Humanities and Technologies

Team members:

Erin Donovan, PhD – Department of Communication Studies, UT Austin

Alex Garcia, PhD, RN – School of Nursing, UT Austin

Aaron Rochlen, PhD – Department of Educational Psychology, UT Austin

Marie Guadagno, doctoral student – Department of Advertising, UT Austin

Allison Lazard, doctoral student – Department of Advertising, UT Austin

Amanda Mabry, doctoral student – Department of Advertising, UT Austin

View team members biographies

Delivering Repeated Health Messages through Digital Media to Increase Physical Activity in Dialysis Patients

This project builds on past research on redundant communication and tests how these principles work in physical activity messages delivered to dialysis patients in the US and Portugal. We will use existing digital media materials from the Portugal team as the content for this intervention. To create the parallel content to deliver to the US audience, we will translate the Portugal digital materials into English and create videos. We will also create paper brochures for the English-speaking and Portuguese-speaking patients that contain similar content to the videos. After delivering repeated messages through digital media and paper brochures, we will assess the impact on health outcomes including increases in physical activity.

Principal Investigators:

Keri K. Stephens, PhD – Department of Communication Studies, UT Austin

Manuel José Damásio, PhD – School of Communication, Arts and Information Technologies, Lusophone University of Humanities and Technologies

Team members:

Yaguang Zhu, doctoral student – Department of Communication Studies, UT Austin

View team members biographies

Mobile Measurement and Motivation: A Feasibility and Pilot Study of Smartwatches for Health in the United States and Portugal

Mobile personal tracking devices, such as the FitBit, Jawbone Up and countless smartphone apps, have become extremely popular in recent years in the US and throughout the world and millions of people use them daily for fitness tracking, calorie counting, and even disease self-management. The next generation of these wearable devices, the “smart watch,” have the potential to combine the high accessibility of the wrist-based tracking devices with the data integration and computer processing power of smartphone apps, creating powerful mobile tracking and motivational tools, which can offer great potential in the health area for health behavior tracking and change.

To explore this innovative and emerging market and healthcare opportunity, we will conduct feasibility and pilot research on smart watches for health behavior tracking and change in the US and Portugal. Step one of our research will involve market analysis of the current accessibility of “wearables” and smart watches and look for demographic or geographic differences among users. Step two of our research will involve lab testing of selected smart watches among members of the research team. The third step of our research will involve conducting pilot needs assessments using mixed data collection with diverse consumers to assess their needs and preferences related to smartphones and health behaviors. This research may focus on one or more health areas for which smart watches offer the greatest potential for positive impact, such as medication or treatment adherence. Finally we will conduct small feasibility pilot studies in the US and possibly in Portugal to see if consumers are comfortable and accepting of smart watch based behavioral tracking and interventions. Data from this pilot research will inform the development of future grant proposals to develop and test smart watch based health interventions in the US and Portugal.

Principal Investigators:

Jay M. Bernhardt, PhD, MPH – Professor and Director, Center for Health Communication, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin

J. Paulo Moreira, PhD, Prof. G.D. – Policies, Management and Administration in Health, National School of Public Health, New University of Lisbon

Team members:

João Magalhães, PhD – Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, New University of Lisbon

Kate Magsamen-Conrad, PhD – School of Media and Communication, Department of Communication, Bowling Green State University

View team members biographies

Understanding Consumers’ Quality Evaluation of Online Health Information Using a Mixed-Method Approach

About 80% of Internet users in the U.S. search online for health information, so do equal percentages of European Internet users. However the quality on online health information is of concern. Extensive studies by health professionals revealed that the quality of online health information varies greatly. On most medical subjects, information was biased, incomplete, or even inaccurate and misleading. Existing studies showed conflicting results in terms of whether users evaluate the quality of online health information while searching for it, and if so, how they perform the evaluation. This study intends to contribute to a clearer understanding of these two issues by using the eye-tracking method, which is able to offer more objective representation of users’ information searching behavior and provide triangulation to traditional interview and observation methods. Towards this end, we will conduct a user study in a lab setting to observe participants’ health information searching behavior, interview them about their search experiences, and measure their eye movement in the information searching process. We will triangulate the data from the three sources to form better understanding of the two issues raised above.

Principal Investigators:

Jacek Gwizdka, PhD – School of Information, UT Austin

Yan Zhang, PhD – School of Information, UT Austin

Carla Teixeira Lopes, PhD – University of Porto Faculty of Engineering

View team members biographies