Special Issue on Artificial Intelligence and Health Communication for the Journal Patient Education and Counseling

Event Notification Type: 
Call for Abstracts
Abbreviated Title: 
Special Issue on Artificial Intelligence and Health Communication
Dr. Sara Rubinelli
Submission Deadline: 
Thursday, 1 December 2011

Call for papers

Special issue on Health Communication meets Artificial Intelligence
Patient Education and Counseling

Guest Editors:
Nancy Green (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA)
Sara Rubinelli (University of Lucerne, Switzerland)
Donia Scott (University of Sussex, UK)

Patient Education and Counseling invites the submission of manuscripts for a special issue on artificial intelligence and health communication.

There is a large and growing interest in the development of automated systems to provide health services to patients and consumers. In the last two decades, applications informed by research in health communication have been developed, e.g., for promoting healthy behavior and for managing chronic diseases. While the value that these types of applications can offer to the community in terms of cost, access, and convenience is clear, there are still major challenges facing design of effective health communication systems.

Communicating health information is a challenging task. The sender often comes from the expert domain of medicine, while its receiver consists of patients who for the most part do not have expertise in medicine but who may have the lived experience of a health condition. Thus, what is relevant from a medical point of view might not be relevant from the patient’s perspective, and vice versa. Communication is not a one-way activity, and so it is necessary for a health communication source to be able to engage the patient’s interest and trust, to elicit and interpret information from the patient, to monitor his comprehension and state of mind, and to tailor the on-going exchange appropriately. Designing an automated system for health communication that can engage in an interaction with its users is a challenging task.

It is hoped that this challenge can be addressed by use of artificial intelligence techniques in combination with empirically-based theoretical frameworks from the field of health communication and related areas of communication studies, discourse studies, public health and psychology.

This Special Issue aims to provide a platform of discussion from theory to practice, bridging the gap between health communication and artificial intelligence. It is expected to comprise a collection of reviews, empirical, conceptual and methodological papers and intervention studies, prefaced with an editorial introduction on the purpose and value of this effort and summarizing the main achievements and the implications from a conceptual and practical level. We encourage submissions in the following areas:

• Healthcare provider-consumer communication
• Health literacy
• Risk communication, including written and visual formats
• Use of behavioral, persuasion, and argumentation theories for healthy behavior promotion.
• Virtual healthcare counselors (e.g. helping with chronic disease management or medication compliance)
• Risk communication and visualization
• Patient-tailored decision support, explanation for informed consent, and retrieval and
summarization of online healthcare information
• Tailored access to medical record supporting both providers and patients
• Tailoring health information for low-literacy, low-numeracy, or under-served audiences
• Communication interventions (e.g. cognitive prostheses, speech therapy, virtual or robotic companions)
• Virtual patients for training healthcare professionals
• Intelligent interactive monitoring of patient’s environment and needs
• Intelligent interfaces supporting access to healthcare

Authors are invited to first submit a structured abstract not exceeding 150-200 words and appropriate keywords. Abstracts should adhere to the following format: Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusion, Practice Implications.
Abstracts will be reviewed and authors notified of whether they are invited to submit full manuscripts. These manuscripts will then be reviewed, and accepted papers will be published in a special issue in the March issue of PEC 2013, vol. 90.

Abstracts of potential articles for the special issue may be submitted before December 1 2011 to Dr. Sara Rubinelli (sara.rubinelli@paranet.ch).