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The state of health communication research: A content analysis of articles published in Journal of Health Communication and Health Communication (2010-2019)

, , Katie J. Schmitz, Evan K. Perrault
Published: 2 January 2021

Abstract: This study presents data from a content analysis of original research articles published in Journal of Health Communication (JOHC) andHealth Communication (HC) from 2010 to 2019. The authors coded 2,050 articles using categories that identified health topics, theory, population characteristics, and methods used in each study. Distinctions between the published research in JOHCand HCare highlighted. Across both journals, articles are primarily conducted within the United States, most frequently use college student samples, often lack explicit theoretical frameworks, heavily rely on online survey methods, and most commonly use quantitative methodologies. The most frequently utilized theory across both journals wasSocial Cognitive Theory and the most studied health topic were behaviors related to smoking, tobacco, and e-cigarette use. The journals were significantly different in several areas, with HC containing more articles explicitly guided by theory and publishing more qualitative research, while JOHC had more racial diversity in its study samples. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for future research. Increased diversity in methodology and samples, as well as increased use of theory and continued use of interdisciplinary collaborations among researchers will allow for expanding and enhancing health communication knowledge going forward.
Keywords: survey / diversity / theory / journals / behaviors / articles / published / Health Communication

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