The Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch (HCIRB) advances research on the processes and effects of communication and informatics across the cancer control continuum. HCIRB is within the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Behavioral Research Program (BRP), in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS).
HCIRB supports research on patient-centered communication, the impact of technology on health communication, equity in communication, and the acceleration and translation of health communication research into public health and clinical practice. The branch also engages in surveillance research regarding the public’s use of cancer-related information in a changing health communication environment.
HCIRB’s research priorities include:
- Our communication science work aims to:
- Improve the interface between science, media, and clinical care
- Raise public awareness and knowledge about cancer prevention and control priorities by improving access to and understanding of cancer information
- Investigate the impact of the changing media environment on knowledge and attitudes toward cancer prevention and control
- Evaluate communication processes in public health practice, community settings, and health care systems to advance and improve cancer care delivery and prevention
- Examine the utility and efficacy of innovative methods for studying communication patterns and processes
- Our multilevel health communication work aims to:
- Develop and evaluate communication interventions that operate at multiple levels of influence for behaviors relevant to cancer control and prevention
- Use informatics technologies to bridge gaps in health communication between the individual, clinical, and community levels
- Our technology-mediated communication work aims to:
- Support the adoption of innovative, evidence-based interventions that leverage emerging technologies and online platforms such as health system portals, smartphone and mobile apps, wireless sensors and devices, and social media
- Test the use and implementation of technology to improve care coordination for patients and caregivers
- Encourage the development and translation of evidence-based innovations in health information technology (HIT) especially as they relate to patient engagement, population health, safety, and continuity of care
HCIRB recently published a portfolio analysis of communication-focused research funded by NCI, 2013-2019.
News and Highlights
- New NIH Common Fund program: Advancing Health Communication Science and Practice
- Translational Behavioral Medicine article: Advancing multi-level health communication research: A Delphi study on barriers and opportunities
- HealthCast Podcast: The Future of Telehealth in Cancer Care
- NCI Press Release: NCI awards $23 million to establish centers of excellence to study telehealth for cancer care
- New HINTS Brief: Public Support for Cigarette Pack Pictorial Health Warnings
- HINTS-SEER (2021) Restricted-Use Data Now Available
- Ethical Considerations for Social Media Research (PDF)
- Meet Featured HCIRB Researchers
Featured Funding Announcement
Leveraging Health Information Technology (Health IT) to Address and Reduce Health Care DisparitiesSee More Announcements
HCIRB Grant Portfolio and Funding Opportunities
W Douglas Evans, Ph.D.
I had an epiphany when I realized that everyone was using text messages for everything: Why couldn't we use them to promote healthy behaviors?”W Douglas Evans, Ph.D.
Ilana Graetz, Ph.D.
Healthcare matters for everybody - no one goes through life without having to deal with the healthcare system in a significant way. My family's experience in dealing with chronic health issues made me realize how deeply flawed the US healthcare system is, and I wanted my research to make a real difference to someone.”Ilana Graetz, Ph.D.
Andy Tan, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., M.B.B.S.
My research is influenced by the foundational work on structural influences of communication inequalities (Viswanath), tobacco-related health disparities (Fagan), and minority stress and resilience model (Meyer).”Andy Tan, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., M.B.B.S.
Read peer-reviewed manuscripts, funding analyses, and reports on behavioral research issues in cancer prevention and control.
Career and Training Announcements
View our scientific, administrative, and fellowship opportunities.
Data and Tools
Get information about data collection and analysis tools, cancer control publications, and other resources to support behavioral researchers.
Meet Our Staff
Our team of accomplished scientists and research associates, fellows, and administrators is dedicated to advancing behavioral science research in cancer prevention and control.HCIRB Staff