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Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch (HCIRB)
Behavioral Research Program (BRP)
Research Area: Web 2.0 and social media, patient-provider communication, qualitative and mixed methods health research, health literacy, health disparities, global cancer control research
Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou is a Program Director in the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch (HCIRB) of the Behavioral Research Program (BRP) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Her research interests include social media and health, patient-provider communication, and mixed methods research. Trained as a sociolinguist, she has expertise in qualitative analyses of health care interactions and personal illness narratives. She has led a number of multidisciplinary research projects on the role of new technologies and social media in health and health care. Specifically, she is documenting health-related Internet use, the impact of the digital divide, Web 2.0 for health promotion, and narrative communication about health. In her role as a Program Director, she is leading NCI's effort to develop funding initiatives and research portfolio to examine health implications of the changing communication landscape. She is currently the co-chair of the Behavioral Science and Cancer Communication Special Interest Group at the American Society of Preventive Oncology and Behavioral Research Program's liaison for International Activities to DCCPS.
Dr. Chou came to the HCIRB from the the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program. As a fellow, she led and collaborated on several research studies, including analyses of new media through the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), patient-provider communication about cancer prevention, and cross-cultural/linguistic communication in survey design. Her doctoral dissertation examined end-of-life discourse through an ethnography and linguistic analysis of interactions between seriously-ill cancer patients and caregivers. She has maintained an active role in community-based organizations, particularly in the Chinese American community. Dr. Chou holds a Master of Science degree and Doctorate in Linguistics from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in piano performance from Santa Clara University, CA. She received a Master of Public Health degree from the Interdisciplinary MPH program at UC Berkeley.
Secondary Branch Appointment:
Process of Care Research Branch (PCRB)
Chou, WY, Prestin A, Kunath S. Obesity in the social media: A Mixed Methods Analysis. Trans Beh Med 2014 September; 4(3):314-323.
Chou WY, Prestin A, Lyons C, Wen KY. Web 2.0 for Health Promotion: Reviewing the Current Evidence. Am J Public Health 2013 Jan; 103(1):e9-e18.
Chou WY, Han P, Pilsner A, Coa K, Greenberg L, Blatt B. Interdisciplinary research on patient-provider communication: A cross-method comparison. Comm Med 2012; 8(1):29-40.
Chou WY, Liu B, Post S, Hesse B. Health-related Internet use among cancer survivors: Data from the Health Information National Trends Survey, 2003-2008. J Cancer Surviv 2011; 5(3):263-270.
Chou WY, Hunt YM, Beckjord EB, Moser RP, Hesse BW. Social media use in the United States: implications for health communication. J Med Internet Res 2009; 11(4):e48.