Health communication class examines ways to spur behavioral change


By Jaime North, Digital Marketing Specialist

Xanax addiction, impacts of vaping, and microaggression were among the topics explored by Bloomsburg University communication studies students this fall as part of their class on examining communication in health contexts.

The health communication course, taught by Paula Hopeck, assistant professor of communication studies, spent the semester looking at several of the theories that cover the health contexts, from patient-provider discussions, to public campaigns, to how health care teams communicate.

“In this assignment, students were asked to identify a behavior they wanted people to change,” Hopeck said. “They then chose a theory we discussed this semester that they used to create a message to get people to change or adapt the behavior.”

As a result, the class created campaigns on getting children treatment for depression, getting college students to see ("rent") a therapist, quit vaping, quit prescription drug abuse, complete breast self-exams, and avoid microaggressive behaviors online.

Group Projects

  • Xanax Addiction and the EPPM Model by Abigail Rush, Kasey McCormick, Cora Bailey-Getz, Catherine Michvech
  • Self-Checks for Breast Cancer: A Simple Action that can Save your Life by Samantha Caba, Shaye Kerper, Catherine Maniscalco, Elizabeth Sheedy
  • Microaggressions: It’s Time to Stop and Ask Yourself, “Is What I am Saying Hurtful to Others?” by Alexa DeFulgentis, Vivian Labs, Cally Seidel, Connor Weir
  • Learn about the harmful impacts of vaping on your mental health and ways you can stop by Samantha Ewing, Tiana Nelson, Samantha Voss, Rachelle Youells
  • Unload your baggage and rent a therapist by Kaitlyn Hentschel, Kraig Koehnlein, Ashley Oliva, Emma Sullivan
  • Using EPPM to Encourage Parents to Seek Depression Treatment for their Children by Quinn Ressler, Alicea Nelson, Kristen Pelzer, Emily Paisley


Health Communication '21