Loyola University Maryland

Emerging Scholars

DAmilola Akinmade, Ph.D.

Expectations and Realities of Health Information Dissemination on Campus

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The American College Health Association (ACHA) was established in 1920 with the aim of improving student health care on college campuses (ACHA, 2016). ACHA’s Healthy Campus 2020 initiative "is a framework to support campuses in improving the health of their students, staff, and faculty" (ACHA, 2016a). Loyola University Maryland is a Healthy Campus partner (ACHA, 2016b). Health communication is defined by the National Cancer Institute (NCI, 2004) as "the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health." Improved and increased health communication is a student objective of the Healthy Campus 2020 initiative (ACHA, 2016c).

Lanning & Doyle (2010) explain that "the ability to choose the right message and the most effective communication medium starts with understanding the intended receiver". In order for a sender’s message to get to its intended recipient, the sender needs to use channels the recipient frequently utilizes. For college students, the school, along with its health center, is an important source of health information. What type of communication strategies should campus health care providers use to disseminate health information to students?

My research investigated the health communication preferences of a select group of Loyola undergraduates and determined whether such preferences were employed by Loyola University Maryland and other area universities and their student health centers to communicate information about Zika Virus disease in 2016.

References:

1. American College Health Association. (2016). The History of ACHA. Retrieved from https://www.acha.org/ACHA/About/History/ACHA/About/History.aspx

2. American College Health Association. (2016a). Healthy Campus 2020: Characteristics of a Healthy Campus Initiative. Retrieved from https://www.acha.org/HealthyCampus/HealthyCampus/Characteristics.aspx

3. American College Health Association. (2016b). Healthy Campus Partners. Retrieved from https://www.acha.org/HealthyCampus/HealthyCampus/Healthy_Campus_Partners.aspx

4. American College Health Association. (2016c). Healthy Campus 2020: Student Objectives. Retrieved from https://www.acha.org/HealthyCampus/HealthyCampus/Student_Objectives.aspx

5. Lanning, B.A., & Doyle, E.I. (2010) Health literacy: Developing a practical framework for effective health communication. American Medical Writers Association Journal, 25(4):155-161. Retrieved from http://www.amwa.org/files/Journal/2010v25n4_online.pdf