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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Health Information Technology Studies (HITS)

The Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group examines the influence of health communication and health technologies on individuals’ health behaviors, quality of life, emotional coping and access to needed services, focusing on communication research in the context of cancer, addiction, aging, AIDS/HIV, and COVID-19. Much of this is grant-driven work in collaboration with the Center for Health Enhancement System Studies. Recent work has moved towards using digital trace data to build predictive models and optimize efforts to inform and intervene “just-in-time” in relation to opioid use and provide support to those “aging in place.” Faculty Leader: Dhavan Shah

RECENT NEWS AND POSTS

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 … Continue reading

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

HITS publishes “Online health information seeking, medical care beliefs and timeliness of medical check-ups among African Americans”

In the new article “Online health information seeking, medical care beliefs and timeliness of medical check-ups among African Americans” in the journal Patient Education and Counseling, the Health Information and Technology Studies (HITS) group found links between technology use and positive health behaviors among African Americans. Continue reading

New publication advances research framework for digital health intervention

A new journal article from the Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) team, led by “Estelle” Ranran Mi, was published in Health Communication. The paper, “Intraindividual, Dyadic, and Network Communication in a Digital Health Intervention: Distinguishing Message Exposure from Message Production,” revealed nuanced intervention effects of a smartphone-based application for addiction recovery by examining message exposure and production at different levels of communication. Continue reading

New article from HITS group “Framing the Clinical Encounter: Shared Decision-Making, Mammography Screening, and Decision Satisfaction”

The Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group has a new article out in the Journal of Health Communication. The article, “Framing the Clinical Encounter: Shared Decision-Making, Mammography Screening, and Decision Satisfaction” was published in October 2020. Continue reading

New HITS article “Understanding How e-Health Intervention Meets Psychosocial Needs of Breast Cancer Patients”

In the new article “Understanding How e-Health Intervention Meets Psychosocial Needs of Breast Cancer Patients: The Pathways of Influence on Quality of Life and Cancer Concerns” in the journal Psycho-Oncology, the Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group found that using e-health interventions can help patients improve cancer information management skills and emotional functioning, contributing to better short-term health outcomes. Continue reading

New HITS publication “Potential Influences of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Drug Use and HIV Care”

In the new article “Potential Influences of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Drug Use and HIV Care Among People Living with HIV and Substance Use Disorders: Experience from a Pilot mHealth Intervention” in the journal AIDS and Behavior, the Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group examined the health and social consequences of the pandemic on people with HIV and substance use disorder. Continue reading

HITS publishes “Exploring the Role of Social Support in Promoting Patient Participation in Health Care Among Women with Breast Cancer”

In the new article “Exploring the Role of Social Support in Promoting Patient Participation in Health Care Among Women with Breast Cancer” in the journal Health Communication, the Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group studied how social factors influence a patient’s participation in health care. Abstract:Scholars have adopted Street’s (2003) ecological model of communication in medical encounters to investigate the factors promoting patient participation in health care. However, factors demonstrated in the ecological model were bounded in the context of medical care primarily focusing on health care providers and patients. Social factors, such as patients’ relationships and supportive communication with … Continue reading

New publication: Giving and receiving social support in online substance use disorder forums: How self-efficacy moderates effects on relapse

The Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group has published the article “Giving and receiving social support in online substance use disorder forums: How self-efficacy moderates effects on relapse” in the journal Patient Education and Counseling. Continue reading

Shah and Curtin Win $3.4 Million NIH Grant to Support Opioid Recovery

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin—Madison have received a $3.42 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a mobile phone-based app to prevent opioid relapse among those trying to recover. The project builds on the prior work that Dhavan Shah, Louis A. & Mary E. Maier-Bascom Professor in UW-Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and John Curtin, director of clinical training in Department of Psychology, have done detecting and predicting relapse. The broad goals of this project are to develop and deliver models to forecast the day-by-day probability of opioid and other drug use among people trying … Continue reading

HITS Team Publishes on Health Disparities

Two journal articles from the HITS (Health Information Technology Studies) team, one published in Health Communication and the other in Health Education Research, tackle the role of information technologies in health disparities. The Health Communication paper led by Juwon Hwang, “Health Information Sources, Perceived Vaccination Benefits, and Maintenance of Childhood Vaccination Schedules,” investigates the associations between evaluations of health information sources, parental perceptions of childhood vaccination benefits, and the maintenance of vaccination schedules for their children. Analyzing a sample of 4,174 parents who have at least one child under the age of 18, including 138 with a childhood autism diagnosis. The … Continue reading

HITS Team Publishes Computational Solutions to Addiction Crisis

Two new studies published by HITS (Health Information Technologies Studies) researchers, both led by Rachel Kornfield, offer computational health communication solutions to substance abuse. The most recent study (available through Journal of Medical Internet Research) was based on an analysis of a mobile phone-based health intervention for individuals in recovery from alcohol use disorder. Human coders labeled discussion forum messages according to whether or not authors mentioned problems in their recovery process. Linguistic features of these messages were extracted via several computational techniques: (1) a Bag-of-Words approach, (2) the dictionary-based Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program, and (3) a hybrid approach combining … Continue reading

HITS Researchers Involved in New $4.2 Million NIH Grant

The two-thirds of Medicare patients being treated for at least three chronic health problems account for a stunning 90 percent of Medicare spending. UW-Madison researchers received a $4.2 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant through the UW–Madison’s Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies (CHESS).  The team working on the grant includes David Gustafson, Jane Mahoney, Randy Brown, Louise Mares, and Dhavan Shah. They wil develop a new e-health intervention called Chronic Condition Health Enhancement Support System, or C-CHESS that builds upon the success of previous CHESS applications for conditions like cancer, asthma and alcoholism. They will recruit 330 older … Continue reading