Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2021 (Online)

Published on February 15, 2021 – On February 4th and 5th  2021, the annual ‘Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap’ conference (in English: “24 hours of Communication Science”) took place. This important conference for Dutch and Flemish communication science scholars is usually held in a brisk and lively metropolitan environment (previous locations include Amsterdam, Ghent, Antwerp, and Rotterdam).

This year’s COVID-19 pandemic caused the NeFCA board and the Etmaal 2021 organizing committee to resort to an online version of the conference. Given these exceptional circumstances, this year’s conference focused specifically on giving  PhD students and research master’s students the opportunity to take the floor in presenting their work at an academic conference.

Our Health Communication researchers were well-represented during the ‘Health communication’ division group sessions, and we were happy to see our youngest generation take the floor to present their (important) research. Below you’ll find an overview of our researchers, and the title and short summary of their presentation. Feel free to contact them through their email addresses in case you have any questions or want to know more!

Interpersonal health communication:
Alessandra Mansueto, Reinout Wiers, Julia van Weert, Barbara Schouten, Sacha Epskamp Tailored Communication in Mental Health: Is Idiographic Network Estimation Feasible?

Idiographic network models graphing personalized complex psychopathological mechanisms can be used to tailor communication in psychotherapy and personalize the treatment of psychopathology. We tested their feasibility in a large simulation study and discussed their promises and limitations.


Wai Lam Wong, Damian Trilling, Annemarie van Oosten More than Words: Using Machine Learning to Understand Sexual Health Conversations in YouTube

We explored whether machine learning could detect behavioral determinants in sexual health conversations on YouTube. While a topic modeling approach was unsuccessful, a bioinformatics-inspired sequence clustering technique appears promising for classifying ‘types’ of conversations.


(Online) health communication and technology:
Melanie de Looper, Julia van Weert, Barbara Schouten, Ellen Smets, Sifra Bolle The systematic development, implementation and evaluation of an online health information tool for older patients newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer

We developed a tool for colorectal cancer patients, with the function to complement the consultation with a healthcare provider in which information was given about their diagnosis and treatment. Results showed that the tool was positively evaluated by patients. In addition, patients who used the tool used less words during the consultation with their healthcare providers afterwards than patients who did not use the tool. Lastly, anxiety levels after the consultation were lower for patients who used the tool when compared to patients who did not use the tool.


Divyaa Balaji, Linwei He, Erkan Basar, Emiel Krahmer, Tibor Bosse, Reinout Wiers, Gert-Jan de Bruijn, Marjolijn Antheunis Introducing ‘Look Who’s Talking’: an interdisciplinary project for designing engaging and long-term chatbot interactions for health promotion

We introduced ‘Look Who’s Talking’, a multi-disciplinary initiative that aims to advance chatbots for healthcare, starting with smoking cessation and sexual health, by working towards more intelligent, engaging and long-term interactions with human users.


Kelly de Wildt, Sara Groos, Bob van de Loo, Kimberley Ploegmakers, Annemiek Linn, Stephanie Medlock, Natasja van Schoor, Julia van Weert, Nathalie van der Velde ADFICE_IT: Testing and Improving the Usability of a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) and Patient Portal to Prevent Falls in Older Adults

Through concurrent think-aloud usability testing the Website Satisfaction (WSS), Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU) and Perceived Usefulness (PU) of a Patient Portal and Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) were assessed, which led to the identification of, and subsequently solving, these systems’ usability problems. We conclude that taking users’ needs and preferences into account when developing digital tools will enhance the tools’ usability.


Anne Vos, Edith Smit, Gert-Jan de Bruijn, Michel Klein Why People Start and Stop Using Walking Apps: Technology Perceptions and Demographic and Behavioral Factors

Perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness are important factors related to both starting and stopping walking app use. These results served as input for the development of the Supreme Nudge mobile walking coach.


Leonie Westerbeek, Kimberley Ploegmakers, Gert-Jan de Bruijn, Annemiek Linn, Julia van Weert, Joost Daams, Nathalie van der Velde, Henk van Weert, Ameen Abu-Hanna, Stephanie Medlock Clinicians’ Views on Barriers and Facilitators Influencing Medication-Related CDSS Usage: A Systematic Review

The results of the systematic review revealed 327 barriers and 291 facilitators. Technology-related themes such as usefulness and relevance of the information, and ease of use and efficiency of the system predominated.


(Online) health communication and the corona pandemic:
Brittany Ming Chu Chan, Barbara Schouten, Mark Boukes, Alessandra Mansueto, Julia van Weert The Effects of Online Media and Social Distancing Rules on Mental Wellbeing and Alcohol Consumption

Overall, the general Dutch population did not increase their alcohol consumption due to online media exposure, decreased mental wellbeing, fear towards COVID-19 and experiencing social distancing disadvantages. Consuming information from and in particular was indeed associated with decreased mental wellbeing and fear towards COVID-19. Social distancing disadvantages experienced, especially loneliness, was significantly and negatively associated with individuals’ mental wellbeing.


Zehui Yu Use of Big Data and Health Belief Model-Based Deep Learning Classifiers for COVID-19 on Twitter: What are the different framing effects of health authorities and news agencies on public perception and their social media engagement?

While comparing the communication on Twitter about COVID-19 between world-leading health organizations and news agencies, health organizations are more effective in engaging the public on social media, and they are particularly influential in human interest relevant content. Specifically, health organizations use more gain frames while news agencies prefer to highlight losses in their posts, especially when talking about conflict and political issues.