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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Category: Health Information Technology Studies

New article from HITS “Coaching older adults discharged home from the emergency department: The role of competence and emotion in following up with outpatient clinicians”

New article “Coaching older adults discharged home from the emergency department: The role of competence and emotion in following up with outpatient clinicians” in Patient Educ Couns. from the Health Information Technology Studies group aiming to answer whether psychological needs for motivation and discrete emotions observed by care transition coaches would predict older adults following up with an outpatient clinician after discharge from emergency departments.

Abstract:

Objective: Motivating older adults to follow up with an outpatient clinician after discharge from emergency departments (ED) is beneficial yet challenging. We aimed to answer whether psychological needs for motivation and discrete emotions observed by care transition coaches would predict this behavioral outcome.

Methods: Community-dwelling older adults following ED discharge were recruited from three EDs in two U.S. states. We examined home visit notes documented by coaches (N = 725). Retrospective chart reviews of medical records tracked participants’ health care utilization for 30 days.

Results: Observed knowledge-based competence predicted higher likelihood of outpatient follow-up within 30 days, while observed sadness predicted a lower likelihood of follow-up within seven days following discharge. Moreover, participants who demonstrated happiness were marginally more likely to have an in-person follow-up within seven days, and those who demonstrated knowledge-based competence were more likely to have an electronic follow-up within 30 days.

Conclusions: Knowledge-based competence and emotions, as observed and documented in coach notes, can predict older adults’ subsequent outpatient follow-up following their ED-discharge.

Practice implications: Intervention programs might encourage coaches to check knowledge-based competence and to observe emotions in addition to delivering the content. Coaches could also customize strategies for patients with different recommended timeframes of follow-up.

Keywords: Care transition intervention; Coach notes; Competence; Emotion; Motivation; Older adults; Outpatient follow-up.

Full Citation: Mi RZ, Jacobsohn GC, Wu J, Shah MN, Jones CMC, Caprio TV, Cushman JT, Lohmeier M, Kind AJH, Shah DV. Coaching older adults discharged home from the emergency department: The role of competence and emotion in following up with outpatient clinicians. Patient Educ Couns. 2022 Aug 24:S0738-3991(22)00392-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2022.08.013. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36064518.

Access the Article: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36064518/

Professor Dhavan Shah Receives ICA B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award

Dhavan Shah on stage at the ICA Conference receiving the B. Audrey Fisher Mentorship Award

Dhavan Shah on stage at the ICA Conference receiving the B. Audrey Fisher Mentorship Award

At their 72nd Annual Conference in Paris France, the International Communication Association (ICA) awarded its B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award to SJMC Maier-Bascom Professor Dhavan Shah.

Since 1988, the B. Aubrey Fisher Award has been given to honor outstanding scholars, teachers, and advisors who serve as role models in those capacities and who have had a major impact on the field of communication. Most importantly, recipients of this award have influenced the discipline through their former students, who themselves are important figures in the communication discipline.

“Shah is praised for his fairness, willingness to collaborate, unconditional support, ability to help students see the larger implications of their ideas, and unwavering intellectual generosity,” said Craig Scott, Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Texas-Austin, who conferred the award to Shah. “Dr. Dhavan Shah embodies the B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award, and we are delighted to present him with it.”

“I owe a great debt to my mentors — Ivan Preston, Dan Wackman, Jack McLeod, and Dave Gustafson — who shaped my approach to research, teaching, and advising,” Shah said. “To be recognized for mentoring others and shaping the field through our joint scholarship and the work of my advisees means I paid that debt forward.”

Dhavan Shah headshot

SJMC Professor and MCRC Director Dhavan Shah

Shah has involved many students in his research and has served as major advisor for over 40 doctoral students, and a committee member on another 80 dissertations across ten departments. His advisees and mentees have gone on to research and teach at some of the world’s leading institutions and earn recognition for their work.

“Dhavan has supported my career teaching me about the research process, doing research with me, but most importantly teaching me how to become an independent researcher, one that can help develop new cohorts of researchers,” said Hernando Rojas, SJMC Professor and Director and one of Shah’s doctoral advisees. “Most importantly his mentoring never ends. Having been a professor for 15 years now myself, I regularly turn to his advice on how to navigate professional challenges, knowing I will always find a sympathetic ear and a smart answer. Simply put, I would not be in academia today if it were not for Dhavan.”

Shah’s research focuses on the influence of electronic and digital media on social judgments, civic and political engagement, and health support and behavior. He is the author of over 140 articles and 20 book chapters. He has co-edited five books and is the author of News Frames and National Security: Covering Big Brother with SJMC colleague Professor Doug McLeod and Battleground: Asymmetric Communication Ecologies and the Erosion of Civil Society in Wisconsin with current and former UW colleagues Lew Friedland, Mike Wagner, Chris Wells, Kathy Cramer, and Jon Pevehouse.

Dhavan Shah seated at a table speaking into a microphone

Dhavan Shah responds to questions during a panel “Media After The Midterms” at the Overture Center in Madison, Wis., on Nov. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)

“Dhavan continues to be a sounding board of advice and perspective, nearly 10 years removed from my student days,” said Stephanie Edgerly, Associate Professor in the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University and one of Shah’s doctoral advisees. “I am forever grateful for his mentorship and imprint on my career. He provided me with a map for navigating the world of academia, while encouraging me to choose my own path and go at my own pace. The fields of communication, journalism, and political science are better because of Dhavan’s mentorship.”

Shah serves as the Director of the Mass Communication Research Center (MCRC), Scientific Director in the Active Aging Research Center and Scientific Director in the Center for Health Enhancement System Studies (CHESS). He holds appointments in the Industrial and Systems Engineering, Marketing and Political Science departments.

Dhavan Shah standing at a podium in front of a projector screen

Dhavan guided me and my colleagues toward important lessons about how to live as a scholar,” said Kjerstin Thorson, Brandt Endowed Associate Professor of Political Communication in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University and one of Shah’s doctoral advisees. “The lesson I value most is generosity. Dhavan taught us that a great scholar is generous with their time, ideas, opportunities, and mentorship.”

In 2016, Shah was elected as an ICA Fellow in recognition of his distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communications. Shah’s SJMC colleague Professor Emeritus Jack McLeod also received the Fisher Award in 1991.

New HITS article “The Relationship among COVID-19 Information Seeking, News Media Use, and Emotional Distress at the Onset of the Pandemic”

New article “The Relationship among COVID-19 Information Seeking, News Media Use, and Emotional Distress at the Onset of the Pandemic” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health from the Health Information Technology Studies group.

Abstract

Although several theories posit that information seeking is related to better psychological health, this logic may not apply to a pandemic like COVID-19. Given uncertainty inherent to the novel virus, we expect that information seeking about COVID-19 will be positively associated with emotional distress. Additionally, we consider the type of news media from which individuals receive information-television, newspapers, and social media-when examining relationships with emotional distress. Using a U.S. national survey, we examine: (1) the link between information seeking about COVID-19 and emotional distress, (2) the relationship between reliance on television, newspapers, and social media as sources for news and emotional distress, and (3) the interaction between information seeking and use of these news media sources on emotional distress. Our findings show that seeking information about COVID-19 was significantly related to emotional distress. Moreover, even after accounting for COVID-19 information seeking, consuming news via television and social media was tied to increased distress, whereas consuming newspapers was not significantly related to greater distress. Emotional distress was most pronounced among individuals high in information seeking and television news use, whereas the association between information seeking and emotional distress was not moderated by newspapers or social media news use.

Full Citation

Hwang J, Borah P, Shah D, Brauer M. The Relationship among COVID-19 Information Seeking, News Media Use, and Emotional Distress at the Onset of the Pandemic. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Dec 14;18(24):13198. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182413198. PMID: 34948806; PMCID: PMC8701074.

Access the Article: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34948806/

Alum Yini Zhang (PhD’20) wins Thomas E. Patterson Best Dissertation Award

At the American Political Science Association’s 2021 Annual Meeting, alum Yini Zhang (PhD’20) received the Thomas E. Patterson Best Dissertation Award from the Political Communication section for her dissertation “A Network Approach to Understanding Public Attention, Public Opinion and Communication Flows in the Digital Media System.”

The Thomas E. Patterson Best Dissertation Award recognizes the best dissertation completed in the field of political communication in the previous year. Zhang centered her dissertation around the core question of how digital media impact the U.S. political communication landscape.

“In my dissertation, I proposed a new theoretical and methodological framework to study the question of “who follows and who leads” in the US communication ecology,” Zhang said. “Specifically, the framework takes into account how actors of different backgrounds are now able to use social media to build online networks and project voices. It emphasizes the heterogeneous communication streams on social media, applies social network analysis to detect networks of actors, and explores their relationship with news media attention and coverage.”

Yini Zhang headshot

University at Buffalo Assistant Professor Yini Zhang (PhD’20)

Now an Assistant Professor in the Communication Department at the University at Buffalo, Zhang is also a UW-Madison Mass Communication Research Center (MCRC) Fellow. She credits her time in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with giving her the tools she needed to craft her award-winning dissertation.

“I see this award as more of a collective than a personal achievement,” Zhang said. “At SJMC, there has been a strong support system and a nourishing academic environment. My advisors, colleagues, the staff members and all those who I interacted with helped me become who I am today. I feel very lucky that I get to do things that I enjoy doing and get recognized for my work.”

One such member of Zhang’s strong support system was her co-advisor SJMC Maier-Bascom Professor Dhavan Shah. Shah is also the director of the MCRC.

Dhavan Shah headshot

SJMC Professor and MCRC Director Dhavan Shah

“Yini’s dissertation and her broader program of research are incredibly innovative and impactful, integrating communication and sociology with network and computer science, She is a worthy recipient of this honor,” Shah said. “She enriched the MCRC not just with her intelligence and research acumen but by being a generous collaborator, student leader and peer mentor. We are lucky to still have her as a fellow.”

Zhang’s other co-advisor was former SJMC faculty member Chris Wells. Wells is now an Associate Professor of Emerging Media Studies in the College of Communication at Boston University and serves as a participating faculty member in the MCRC.

Chris Wells Headshot

Boston University Associate Professor Chris Wells

“This award is such a well-deserved recognition of Yini’s work,” Wells said. “While at UW-Madison, she crafted an innovative field of study for herself rooted in SJMC. But she also branched out and took courses and collaborated with professors from statistics, computer science and elsewhere. Her work is on the cutting edge of both communication theory and computational methods, and this award shows it.”

Campus Group Receives Grants to Expand Elder Tree Platform to Smart Speakers and Smart Displays

A Google Home Mini smart speaker sitting on a desk in front of a laptop and potted plant.

Photo Credit: Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

According to projections from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the population in Wisconsin ages 65 and older is expected to increase by 72% between 2015 and 2040. The population is aging rapidly in rural areas, especially in the northern half of the state in counties with higher rates of health concerns.

Responding to this demographic shift, the Center for Health Enhancement System Studies’ (CHESS) Active Aging Research Center (AARC) has been using technology to improve the overall quality of life for Wisconsin seniors through a web-based information and communication technology (ICT) platform called Elder Tree.

This technology supports older adults who wish to remain in their homes for as long as possible, a concept known as aging in place. While 90% of adults over the age of 65 say they would prefer to age in place, they often struggle with isolation and loneliness, falling, managing medications, and driving and transportation.

Elder Tree offers older adults a variety of features, including health information, transportation route planning, social interaction and more. The platform is secure and easy to use, even for those that may not be as familiar or comfortable with using technology. However, for those living with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs), symptoms and physical limitations can make using computers difficult.

Dave Gustafson headshot

CHESS Founder and Director Dave Gustafson is a co-PI on these grants.

“As people age, their mobility and stimulus response slows down, said CHESS Founder and Director Dave Gustafson. “Even if someone was the CEO of a technology company, they might have more difficulty using computers as they age due to physical or mental limitations.”

To address these challenges, the group plans to adapt Elder Tree for smart speakers and smart displays. Led by principal investigators Dave Gustafson and Department of Communication Arts Professor Marie-Louise Mares, the CHESS AARC has received two major grants to make the platform more accessible to a larger group of potential users.

“We have to recognize that current technology won’t do the job. There’s an enormous amount of helpful information available, but the capability to access it is limited for many older adults,” Gustafson said. “New smart devices open technology up in a way that was not possible before. Making Elder Tree easier to use means more people will use it.”

The latest grant, a five-year, $3.9 million award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), focuses on older adults living with five or more MCCs. An earlier nearly $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) aims to help older adults dealing with chronic pain in addition to other MCCs.

Marie-Louise Mares headshot

Professor of Communication Arts Marie-Louise Mares is a co-PI on these grants.

“The central goals of CHESS have always been to empower patients and improve their quality of life. Being able to speak to a device, and have it talk back and interact with you, rather than read on a screen, may make the content much more accessible,” Mares said. “Using smart displays to help them monitor their health, gain access to resources, and find community, could potentially be more successful than a traditional laptop intervention.”

Researchers saw positive outcomes from the initial iteration of Elder Tree and hope to extend the benefits of the platform to more users and encourage current users to stay active on the application with the help of these grants. Researchers can measure outcomes associated with specific features of the program, such as reduced falls after learning fall prevention techniques, reduced traffic accidents after using the route planning feature, or reduced feelings of loneliness or isolation from engaging with the social aspects of the program.

Dhavan Shah headshot

SJMC Professor and CHESS Scientific Director Dhavan Shah

“We realized there are certain people that can’t take full advantage of the system,” said Dhavan Shah, School of Journalism and Mass Communication Maier-Bascom Professor and CHESS Scientific Director. “Our main goal in this study is improvements in quality of life, especially focusing on giving users a more hopeful outlook and seeing life as more meaningful. We try to do things like reduce depression, increase feelings of independence, or increase people’s ability to manage whatever illnesses or chronic diseases they’re dealing with.”

HITS publishes “Effect of an eHealth Intervention on Older Adults’ Quality of Life, Independence, and Health-Related Outcomes”

In the new article “Effect of an eHealth Intervention on Older Adults’ Quality of Life, Independence, and Health-Related Outcomes: A Randomized Clinical Trial” in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group studied the effectiveness of an eHealth intervention designed to improve quality of life for older adults. Continue reading

New HITS publication “Effect of a Mobile-Health Intervention (A-CHESS) on Hepatitis C Testing Uptake Among People with Opioid Use Disorder”

In the new article “Effect of a Mobile-Health Intervention (A-CHESS) on Hepatitis C Testing Uptake Among People with Opioid Use Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial” in the journal JMIR mHealth and uHealth, the Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group conducted an RCT to test the effectiveness of a mobile health intervention to increase hepatitis C virus awareness among people dealing with opioid use disorder.

Abstract

The growing epidemic of opioid use disorder (OUD) and associated injection drug use has resulted in a surge of new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Approximately half of the people with HCV infection are unaware of their HCV status. Improving HCV awareness and increasing screening among people with OUD are critical. Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (A-CHESS) is an evidence-based, smartphone-delivered relapse prevention system that has been implemented among people with OUD who are receiving medications for addiction treatment (MAT) to improve long-term recovery.

Full citation: “Effect of a Mobile-Health Intervention (A-CHESS) on Hepatitis C Testing Uptake Among People with Opioid Use Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Karli R. Hochstatter, David H. Gustafson Sr., Gina Landucci, Klaren Pe-Romashko, Olivia Cody, Adam Maus, Dhavan V. Shah and Ryan P. Westergaard, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 9 (2): e23080. DOI: 10.2196/23080

Access the article: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33616545/

New HITS article “A Web-based eHealth Intervention to Improve Quality of Life for Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions”

In the new article “A Web-based eHealth Intervention to Improve Quality of Life for Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial” in the journal JMIR Research Protocols, the Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group studied the effectiveness of an eHealth intervention designed to improve quality of life for older adults with multiple chronic conditions. Continue reading

HITS publishes “The Effects of Online Social Connectedness on Older Adults’ Depressive Symptoms”

In the new article “The Effects of Online Social Connectedness on Older Adults’ Depressive Symptoms: Evidence from a Two-Wave Cross-lagged Panel Study” in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group studied the effectiveness of a support website for enhancing social connectedness on improving depressive symptoms in older adults. Continue reading