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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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2. Disclosure

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2. Disclosure

KATHRYN GREENE,Rutgers University& AMANDA CARPENTER,Rutgers University

Disclosure is an expanding area of health communication research. Sharing information is important for how patients experience and manage illness. Research examines disclosure to providers, in personal relationships (e.g., partners or family), and in social networks (e.g., friends or coworkers). Several studies have developed scales to measure disclosure as a communication process including focus on patterns of sharing along with timing and message choices.

Disclosure is defined as “an interaction between at least two individuals where one intends to deliberately divulge something personal to another” (Greene, Derlega, & Mathews, 2006, p. 411). In health, disclosure often focuses on sharing a diagnosis or an event (e.g., surgery or pregnancy). Disclosure has been associated with several important outcomes for both individuals and relationships. First, people who disclose have greater access to social support and resources. Next, people who disclose may find better ways of coping with stressful life events with increased access to resources such as support groups. Third, people who disclose report closer relationships with increased trust and openness. Fourth, there is an opportunity for catharsis and reduced anxiety from holding in information (Greene, Carpenter, Catona, & Magsamen-Conrad, 2013). Finally, disclosure can lead to more effective health care if patient disclosure results in health care providers who are aware of all relevant health information.

Health communication scholars studying disclosure have focused on information management, topic avoidance,...

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