Ongoing Studies

What is the impact of emerging technologies adoption by couples and families? What is the impact of social technologies on couple and family relationships? How do emerging technologies shape identity and social relationships? How do transnational families and clinicians benefit from the use of emerging information communication technologies?

How do backstage technologies shape transnational communication? Backstage technologies, user defined private social networks, have been understudied compared to front stage social media counterparts. This study focuses on the use of Whatsapp by South Asian immigrants in New England to develop a better understanding of contemporary immigration and transnational identity construction. The research design includes direct observations, interviews and a survey with South Asian immigrants who utilize backstage technologies to connect with family and friends abroad and in the USA.

What are online chronic patient communities? We are writing a book directed to practitioners and policy makers exploring the role of virtual communities composed by patients with chronic illnesses. We are utilizing an eco-systemic, developmental, and e-health, approaches to inform the questions that the emergence of these online communities.

How do young Black men-who-have-sex-with-men with HIV self-disclose within online patient communities? Online patient communities are being considered by many to be a vehicle for targeting the individual impact of stigmatizing health conditions . By providing opportunities to interact with peers and engage in conversations related to HIV, the stigmatizing discourse surrounding the diagnosis may subside. One such domain where OPCs plays a role in decreasing the impact of stigma is through self-disclosure. Within OPCs housing individuals with HIV, more HIV self-disclosures are occurring online compared to in-person; still, there has yet to be a study looking at this phenomenon specifically. By developing a theory of the shared phenomenon of HIV self-disclosure within OPCs, we can contribute to a stronger understanding of the role of OPCs in curbing stigma and promoting HIV prevention.

What are better clinical guidelines for doctor-patient relationships in the case of recently diagnosed celiac disease patients? We have worked and continue exploring celiac disease utilizing a systemic and ecosystemic perspective to understand the barriers and challenges celiac disease face in maintaining a gluten free diet. This social disease, as we have coined it, does also present challenges in the doctor-patient relationships. In collaboration with Beyond Celiac, we are analyzing qualitative data collected to develop a social marketing strategy directed to non diagnosed celiac disease families.

How do mental health providers’ approach the treatment delivery of individuals diagnosed with FMS? It aims to understand how these providers are currently integrating mental health care into FMS treatment, in order to formulate a model for integrating this treatment and developing guidelines. A survey will be administered targeting areas of knowledge, training, experiences, and attitudes involved in the diagnosis and use of non-pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia by mental health providers. To be eligible for participation in this study, participants must: 1) be mental health providers; 2) have treated at least one patient who has fibromyalgia; and 3) be currently in practice.

How does volunteering during disasters and crisis occur virtually? The role of digital volunteers in crisis and disasters is the focus of a research project that studies twitter users in Chile Research project that explore how volunteers participate in crisis and disasters. How do digital volunteers make decisions about what to communicate during and after a disaster? What can emergency managers can learn about social media usage during disasters from connected individuals?

How do clinical healthcare providers communicate using backstage technologies during community emergencies caused by natural hazards? This study focuses on the role that private messaging have for healthcare providers during emergencies caused by natural hazards in the north of Chile.

What evidence matters in the development of social media guidelines for managing natural disasters and crisis? The team is collaborating with the National Research Center for Disaster Management in Chilean in developing guidelines for social media disaster management in the Office of National Emergency Management. This is a white paper that synthesize the literature and make recommendations on the use of social networks for emergency utilizing a participatory and community development approach. It includes the role of hashtags in the process of making material and human convergence more efficient after a disaster strike, the management of rumors, etc.

How do drone images foster community participation? Two community projects that focus on the use of UAVs (Drones) among vulnerables communities confronting multiple natural hazards in Chile. Valparaiso and Tocopilla are the cities where these community based action projects are ongoing.