Texas Tech University


Health Communication Research

Health communication is the study of how health information is generated and disseminated, and how that information affects individuals, community groups, institutions, and public policy. From improving patient provider-patient relationships to influencing the public health of communities, health communication research recognizes the vital role communication plays in changing attitudes and modifying behaviors.

Our Health Communication Research

Researchers in the College of Media & Communication (CoMC) bring their expertise in interpersonal and mediated communication to the task of discovering evidence-based solutions for the complex issues health care providers face when trying to improve health outcomes for communities and individuals.

Communicating in the ER

When lives are on the line, communication is essential. Nowhere is this more evident than in the emergency room. CoMC researchers have collaborated with real-world ER staff to diagnose barriers to efficient communication, including inefficient use of technology, interpersonal barriers, and physical obstacles. 

How the Brain Processes Anti-Drug PSA's

Public service announcements are a key component of public health campaigns. CoMC researchers are using state-of-the-art tools, like psychophysiology and neuromarketing, to shed light on what's going on inside a viewer's head while they watch them.

Communication Technology in Health Settings

Communication technology is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday lives. Whether it's on a smartphone, tablet, or computer, we use these technologies in just about everything we do, and that includes when seeking out health-related information. Dr. Bolanle Olaniran worked with a team of researchers from the TTU Health Sciences Center to explore how patients with chronic diseases used communication technology differently from people who do not suffer from chronic illness. His research demonstrates the importance of communication when studying patient health and wellness. Read the full article.

Family Conflict and Mental Health

How do arguments at home impact kids' emotional and mental health? Recent research by CoMC facutly explores family conflicts and communication patterns to examine how the effect young adult's mental health, stress, and self-esteem.

The Impact of Narratives from Breast Cancer Survivors

Personal stories, or narratives, are often used in health media messages in order to encourage attention and emotional responses to these messages. Many researchers consider narrative messages to be the most effective at conveying important information and at persuading audiences. Research from public relations professor Dr. Paul Bolls examined the impact of African American breast cancer survivors' personal stories on how viewers responded to these stories. His research showed that the emotional tone of the stories played a crucial role in capturing attention and generating emotional response. Read the full article.

Health Research Faculty

Learn more about CoMC research areas