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Health Communication Research Measures

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Edited By Do Kyun Kim and James W. Dearing

This volume presents state-of-the-art reporting on how to measure many of the key variables in health communication. While the focus is on quantitative measures, the editors argue that these measures are centrally important to the study of health communication. The chapters emphasize constructs, scales, and up-to-date reports and evidence about key social science constructs and ways of measuring them, whether your interest is in patient-provider dyadic communication, uncertainty management, self-efficacy, disclosure, social norms, social support, risk perception, health care team performance, message design and effects, health and numerical literacy, communication satisfaction, social influence and persuasion, stigma, health campaigns, reactance, or other topics. Students, researchers, and policymakers will find this book an accessible resource for planning and reviewing research studies and proposals.
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18. Risk Behavior Diagnosis

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18. Risk Behavior Diagnosis

CRAIG TRUMBO,Colorado State University& SE-JIN KIM,Colorado State University

Health communication has long occupied a position that serves not only the scientific investigation of how information affects human health behaviors but also the practical concerns of the execution of information delivery to achieve positive health outcomes. In this manner health communication researchers have an opportunity to participate in important translational work that can place effective diagnostic tools in the hands of professional health communicators.

That was the primary goal for the development of the Risk Behavior Diagnosis Scale (Witte, Cameron, McKeon, & Berkowitz, 1996). At the time of the scale’s original publication, health communication researchers had already been strongly involved in an examination of how fear appeal messages motivate behavior and behavior change. One of the interesting discoveries in this work was the very real possibility of a fear-based message precipitating a reverse, or boomerang, effect in which the message recipient would become motivated to control the feeling of fear rather than motivated to control the threat. In some cases it was seen that harmful behavior, such as smoking, could actually become more entrenched under this response condition.

That was an observation made by Witte and colleagues in their extensive development of the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM)(Witte & Allen, 2000). What they found was that a carefully considered mix of message elements could motivate desired health behavior and...

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