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Health Communication

Strategies for Developing Global Health Programs


Edited By Do Kyun Kim, Arvind Singhal and Gary L. Kreps

Promotion of healthy behaviors and prevention of disease are inextricably linked to cultural understandings of health and well-being. Health communication scholarship and practice can substantially and strategically contribute to people living safer, healthier, and happier lives. This book represents a concrete step in that direction by establishing a strategic framework for guiding global and local health practices.
Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, the volume includes state-of-the-art theories that can be applied to health communication interventions and practical guidelines about how to design, implement, and evaluate effective health communication interventions.
Few books have synthesized such a broad range of theories and strategies of health communication that are applicable globally, and also provided clear advice about how to apply such strategies. This volume combines academic research and field experience, guided by past and future research agendas and on-the-ground implementation opportunities.
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Chapter 2 Developing and Testing Mobile Health Applications to Affect Behavior Change: Lessons from the Field (Andrew Isham, Bret R. Shaw, & Dave Gustafson, University of Wisconsin-Madison)


Andrew Isham, Bret R. Shaw, & Dave Gustafson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Today, mobile communication technologies are being adopted faster than any information technology in human history (Waegemann, 2010). Mobile health (mHealth) applications are advantageous because they can be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere there is cellular coverage (Evans, Abroms, Poropatich, Nielsen & Wallace, 2012). Additionally, many people carry their mobile devices with them everywhere, making them a potentially powerful behavioral change tool. Promisingly, early studies indicate that mHealth applications can be efficacious across a variety of behavioral domains (e.g., Burke et al., 2012; Cole-Lewis & Kershaw, 2010; Dowshen, Kuhns, Johnson, Holoyda, & Garofalo, 2012; Fjeldsoe, Marshall, & Miller, 2009; Stockwell et al., 2012; Whittaker et al., 2009). Not surprisingly, there is a great deal of interest in mHealth solutions among both consumers and clinicians (Dolan, 2009). Others have observed there are few areas in the field of health communication that have generated as many enthusiasts in such a short time as has mHealth (Sherry & Ratzan, 2012). Clearly, mHealth opportunities abound.

At the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, we have developed and tested several mobile health applications designed to manage chronic conditions via behavioral change. This is an attempt to collate and synthesize the learning that has taken place in order to provide practical guidelines to developers and researchers about how to design, implement, and evaluate successful mobile health communication interventions. ← 37 | 38 →

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