CHER Awards 2017-2018

CHER 2017-2018 Award Announcement

The Center for Health Communication launched its Communication for Health, Empathy, and Resilience (CHER) grant program in Fall 2017. The goal of this grant program is to promote collaboration between Moody College of Communication and Dell Medical School faculty in their evidence-based health communication scholarship, education, and community involvement endeavors. Grants were awarded to teams of faculty and students to conduct pilot projects investigating communication’s key role in promoting wellness, creating a culture of empathy among healthcare providers, and enabling people to resist and recover from illness or injury. 

CHER awarded approximately $20,000 in its inaugural 2017-18 grant cycle for three projects.  Project titles, teams, and brief descriptions are presented below. Stay tuned for more information about the projects’ progress in the months to come! 

Do Objectively Measured Communication Strategies Correlate with Patient Perceptions of Empathy?

Principal Investigator:  Dr. David Ring, Dell Medical School

Co-Investigator:  Dr. Joost T.P. Kortlever, Dell Medical School

Co-Investigator:  Dr. Laura E. Brown, Moody College of Communication

The primary goal of this project is to assess if objectively measured communication strategies correlate with patient perceptions of empathy. Second, the team will access factors associated with the variables from the primary goal, and with symptoms of depression, self-efficacy, and health anxiety.

The CARE Study:  Communicating About Research with Empathy

Principal Investigator:  Dr. J. Stuart Ferriss, Dell Medical School

Co-Investigator:  Dr. Anita Vangelisti, Moody College of Communication

Graduate Research Assistant:  Suzanne Burdick, Moody College of Communication

Clinical trial enrollment is at historic lows, particularly among under-represented minority women. The purpose of this study is to better understand the reasons patients accept or reject participation in trials. This project will focus on how communication and empathy between patient and provider influence a patient’s decision regarding enrollment in clinical trials. This pilot will allow us to identify future research opportunities (i.e., designing & testing targeted communication tools) with the aim of increasing diversity in clinical trials.

Health Communication and Stakeholder Education for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention in Texas

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Anjum Khurshid, Dell Medical School

Co-Investigator:  Dr. Brad Love, Moody College of Communication

Co-Investigator:  Dr. Kate Pounders, Moody College of Communication

The goal of this project is to develop effective strategies to engage healthcare providers and community health stakeholders in preventing childhood lead poisoning. Texas has about 2.5 million children under the age of six, when exposure to lead may cause permanent low intelligence, difficulty to pay attention, and low academic achievement. Of the children under six who are on Medicaid insurance, only 13% get tested for lead in blood. Dell Med team will partner with colleagues from Moody to execute an outreach and educational program in Travis County. The insights developed through this outreach and the topics identified by the stakeholders, will inform educational materials and social media campaigns for lead poisoning prevention in Texas.