Communicating Multiple Disease Risks

Faculty involved: Erika Waters, PhD, MPH

Communicating Multiple Disease Risks: A Translation of Risk Prediction Science translates epidemiological data about five major health consequences of insufficient physical activity into a visual display that conveys individualized risk estimates in a way that is understandable and meaningful to diverse lay audiences and motivates physical activity behavior. The study is specifically designed to be applicable and relevant to individuals with less formal education and those who are members of racial or ethnic minority demographic groups.

Deliverables of this study will include a highly versatile visual display that could be adapted for diverse target behaviors (e.g., dietary intake), communication modalities (e.g., smartphones, paper) or intervention settings (e.g., primary care, return of genomic test results), and a fully functional risk assessment tool that could be integrated into individual, community, or clinical interventions.

This revised component of project adds a mental imagery-based self-regulation intervention to a fully-functional, smartphone based risk assessment tool. This supplemental intervention will help participants make the difficult transition from intending to engage in physical activity to actually initiating and maintaining behavior change. It will accomplish this by facilitating realistic goal-setting and using SMS/ text-messaging reminders to encourage participants to engage in goal-related mental imagery.