Healthy Humor Cancer Education Online Library for Deaf Community

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43DC009522-01
Agency Tracking Number: DC009522
Amount: $215,897.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 036536548
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (858) 487-8200
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The Deaf community faces unique linguistic and cultural barriers to optimal health, including access to effective and appealing health messages, a necessary element of behavioral change according to many theoretical mod els. Our experience producing and evaluating health communications for the Deaf community revealed the need for an innovative approach to engage and inform them about healthy choices. To attract the Deaf community to health information, we propose to devel op a new genre of Internet-based health communications that combines viewer-supplied comedy videos with expert health behavior change messages (message sandwiches). The website library, designed with Web 2.0 functionality, will also enable health professio nals to utilize the videos for alternate uses. Preliminary concept testing of several video sandwiches was enthusiastically received by Deaf audiences and generated immediate increases in health knowledge, information-seeking intent, and behavior change in tent. This Phase One study will hone the sandwich concept and produce and evaluate a prototype library with the goal of creating and evaluating a fully functioning and scalable Healthy Humor website library for the Deaf community (Phase II). By utilizing e xisting health content whenever possible and having viewers create the health-related comedy, the approach promises significant cost savings and substantial appeal to both users and sponsors. This application is innovative in four ways: 1) The Healthy Humo r product concept the notion of combining jokes with health messages to attract a hard to reach audience and facilitate greater exposure to health information. 2) The population being served - for the Deaf community, non-voice dependent communication tech nology is a necessity, not an option. We are therefore targeting what we believe is the most underserved yet technologically advanced minority community in order to assess feasibility. 3) The broad public health applicability - Creating a product that is s calable and relevant to all communities with health disparities. 4) The participatory technology we are designing this new breed of Health Communication to take full advantage of Web 2.0 new media technology, especially social networking and user-generated content, which in turn gives the Deaf community, and ultimately many underserved communities, a powerful voice, a sense of ownership, and a vehicle for greater social support. The commercial viability stems from: 1) Developing a new and innovative genre o f health communication that has applicability to a broad array of populations, 2) The market appeal of humor injected into serious topics and the buzz that the combination is likely to create, and 3) The corresponding appeal to sponsors, advertisers and pa rtners eager to reach the same populations with their products and services. This project will take full advantage of the significant synergy between ResearchWorks' health communication expertise and UCSD's cancer prevention work with the Deaf community to be cost effective and to maximize our impact on the health of this important population. NARRATIVE: To attract the vastly underserved Deaf community to reliable information about cancer prevention and early detection, we propose to develop a new genre of Internet-based health communications that combines viewer-supplied comedy videos with expert health behavior change messages (message sandwiches). This application is innovative in terms of the product concept (combining jokes with health messages), the po pulation being served (technologically advanced minority community), public health applicability (can be tailored to all communities with health disparities), and participatory technology (Web 2.0 functionality, especially social networking and user-genera ted content). The website library will increase selective exposure to health messages, and generate health knowledge, information seeking, and behavior chan

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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