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A Descriptive Analysis of 10 Years of Research Published in theJournal of Health Communication

Vicki S. Freimuth, Holly A. Massett, Wendy Meltzer
Published: 1 January 2006

Abstract: This article describes the contents of the articles from the first decade of The Journal of Health Communication (JOHC). Three hundred and twenty-one published articles were reviewed and coded to determine the characteristics of the researchers, the types of research presented, the common health topics covered, and the research designs used. The results led to the following profile of a typical article. Its primary author is a U.S. academic. It probably focuses on smoking, HIV/AIDS, or cancer. It is an empirical research study, more likely to use quantitative, specifically survey methods, rather than qualitative methods. It probably is not driven by theory. It is much more likely to examine mass media communication than interpersonal communication. Its purpose is just as likely to be audience analysis as message design, as evaluation of a planned communication intervention. If its purpose is to evaluate a planned communication intervention however, that intervention is almost certainly a successful one.
Keywords: health communication / Journal of Health / Smoking / interpersonal communication / HIV/AIDS / survey / Communication Intervention / Planned Communication

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