Grantee: Andy J. King, PhD

Andy J. King

Andy J. King, PhD

Health Communication Scientist/Researcher
  • University of Utah

Andy King, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Communication, as well as a member of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, at the University of Utah. Dr. King's research seeks to use data to improve health messaging efforts so that public health outcomes can be more broadly, equitably, and efficiently achieved. His research program focuses on strategic public health communication, with specific lines of work focusing on (1) message design and evaluation, (2) persuasion and visual imagery, and (3) public communication processes related to cancer. His specific interest in cancer communication began in 2009, when he was a predoctoral fellow at Purdue University on an NCI-funded training project in oncological sciences.

This grant project seeks to use innovative approaches to study the cancer communication environment. Misinformation and disinformation, as well as subsequent worry, concern, and skepticism about health information, presents complicated challenges to health communicators in an information environment where producing and disseminating messages is easier than ever before. One important step forward is to improve the evidence base available for health communication campaign planners to make strategic decisions about the design and delivery of health information to audiences most in need of that information. The goal of Dr. King's project is to develop a system to monitor, generate, select, and evaluate messages and arguments supporting adherence to colorectal cancer screening recommendations. The efforts by Dr. King and his co-investigators will provide evidence about the efficacy of such an approach that could be used for many different cancer topics and intended audiences. Determining the efficacy of a methodological approach to monitor, generate, select, and evaluate health messages is an important step toward integrating computational methods with cancer communication practice.

Early detection of cancer can save lives and improve people's quality of life. There's a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about cancer screening, and figuring out ways to help people make informed decisions about screening through cancer communication efforts is a worthwhile goal.”