Pre-conference Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap

The Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2017, is organized by Tilburg University under the flag of NefCa (the Netherlands Flanders Communication Association). This year's theme is 'Innovative Methods in Communication Research'.

At the preconference Meeting of the Health Communication Division “Challenges in Health Communication Research”, Violetta Jitomirskaya will be presenting her latest paper: Health-related information behavior of young and senior elderly in Flanders

In this paper she's presenting an ongoing Flemish research project on human information behavior in a health-related context. Information behavior is a broad concept that is often defined as “the totality of human behavior in relation to sources and channels of information, including both active and passive information seeking, and information use” (Wilson, 2000, p. 49). For Wilson, this includes “face-to-face communication with others, as well as the passive reception of information as in, for example, watching TV advertisements, without any intention to act on the information given” (p. 49). To gain understanding of human health information behavior, she conducted forty in-depth interviews with 50-80-year-olds in Flanders. During the interviews she asked about people’s interaction with health information, and decided to interview elderly people, who experience or are confronted with more health-related problems than other age groups. Accordingly, the interviews addressed many health-related private issues and experiences. Obviously, these issues and experiences are often very sensitive so that the researcher needs to be careful and highly empathic. Further, the approach during the interview can also facilitate the data collection.

Therefore, two important topics will be considered:
1. Health problem as an emotional topic
2. How can we facilitate data collection on a very private topic?