Posts Tagged ‘informatics


Dr. Mia Lustria and consumer health informatics

Dr. Mia Lustria’s  presentation on “Research Perspectives in Consumer Health Informatics and Measurement Issues” reviewed:

What is consumer health informatics?

  • “The branch of medical informatics that analyses consumers’ needs for information; studies and implements methods of making information accessible to consumers; and models and integrates consumers’ preferences into medical information systems”
  • Example: The Wellness Community
  • Interdisciplinary field — draws from a variety of fields, and not just technology

Rationale for consumer health informatics

  • Shift in emphasis from disease and treatment to health and wellness
  • 80% of Americans have searched the Internet for health info

Characteristics of interactive technologies

  • Messages can be both widely disseminated yet personalized
  • Important attributes: multimodality and sensory vividness (example: ReMission — online game for young cancer patients); networkability and interactivity — building community and ability to get immediate feedback from experts; temporal flexibility — control the timing of your interactions; message tailoring capabilities — reach narrowly defined audiences and do so according to individual characteristics, which improves engagement
  • But interactive technologies were at times superior and sometimes no better than other media

Measurement issues

  • Not just reach but actually changing behavior
  • Access issues — tested with literate populations; maybe not reaching people who need the most help
  • Sometimes poorly designed, not linked with theory
  • Measuring program engagement and outcomes, including engagement with the content; relatively low rate of long-term engagement in many Web-based programs; figure out what works and what doesn’t
  • Using direct and unobtrusive methods (page visits, time on page, etc.), but those are not always easy; therefore oftentimes resort to online surveys, which rely on self-reported data. It’s difficult to assess behavioral and clinical outcomes.

Addition: Here are Dr. Lustria’s slides.


Informatics and you: meet Dr. Mia Lustria

Joining Jim Fetig and Kathi Wallace of Georgia Tech on the measurement panel will be Dr. Mia Lustria, assistant professor at Florida State University’s College of Information. She conducts research on consumer health informatics and health communication. “Huh?,” you may ask. Here’s how she explains it.

Dr. Lustria:
Consumer health informatics involves the purposive use of information and communication technologies for health education and promotion. My particular area of research involves the design and evaluation of online, interactive and computer-tailored behavioral interventions focused on helping inform and educate individuals about better health behaviors and equipping them with the skills to make informed decisions regarding their health.

Q. How and where does your work intersect with public relations and marketing?

2. Dr. Lustria: Behaviors, particularly health behaviors, are not easy to change or affect. Knowledge often does not directly translate into behavior change. In a way, health communication involves persuading individuals to engage in desired behaviors. We have learned a lot from PR/marketing field about how best to do this using different media.

Q. Tell us something about you that’s not on your bio.

3. Dr. Lustria: Aside from having a busy career, I have 4 kids, ages 5-16 – I had 3 during my Masters, 1 during my PhD. When people ask me how I do it – I give all the credit to my supportive husband, Yul. I also tell them that my kids are my reason for everything that I strive for – I never make them my excuse for not accomplishing my goals. My family helps me keep everything in the right perspective.

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