When: Tuesday 23 October, 16.00-18.00

An ongoing question in prevention science is how to best translate scientific evidence in a manner that promotes behavioral change among specific target audiences. This task is particularly challenging when evidence changes over time, as shifting behavioral recommendations can cause confusion and skepticism. There is evidence that virtual health assistants can overcome some of the challenges of communicating about prevention in face-to-face settings, however, the benefits of using virtual health assistants to deliver tailored messages to underrepresented patient populations has not been examined.

In this talk, Dr. Krieger will provide an overview of the development and implementation of a preventive screening intervention utilizing virtual health assistants delivered through a patient portal linked to electronic health records. Drawing on principles of message tailoring and the agile software development process, the talk will describe how mixed methods (i.e., focus groups, think aloud interviews, experiments) were used to develop and evaluate the intervention. Dr. Krieger will also discuss how the same principles and methods can be extended for research with virtual assistants across other communication contexts. The results have implications for the effective use of tailored, virtual human technology in a range of behavioral change contexts.

About prof. Krieger:
Janice L. Krieger is a professor in the Advertising Department and serves as Director of the STEM Translational Communication Center in the College of Journalism and Communications. She is also co-leader of the Population Science Program within the University of Florida Cancer Center.
Dr. Krieger has published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles related to her research expertise in designing, implementing, and evaluating translational communication interventions. She serves as a PI and co-PI on several large grants funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her research has garnered more than $10 million in grant funding.