Research and Projects
Global health needs have changed markedly in recent decades. The greatest threat to the health of previous generations was posed by infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. Scientific advances and population changes, however, now present the world and the Asia Pacific Region with new and different challenges. Global populations are ageing rapidly with significant implications for health. Hong Kong’s 2011 census results indicated that the population aged 60 and over nearly doubled in the previous two decades. In 2011, 1 351 000 people in Hong Kong (that is, 19.2% of the population) were aged 60 or over. By 2039, that figure is projected to grow to nearly three million. Such population shifts have occurred alongside changes in the structure of families and communities. As people are living longer, rates of chronic and non-communicable diseases have increased. Family and community support networks have also changed and now governments and society more generally are having to think about how future health needs can be supported equitably and efficiently. The work of IRCAHC aims to address these contemporary concerns through research that is closely linked to policy and practice so as to support effective future planning.
Leveraging ‘uncertainty’ during a health crisis: A comparative analysis of the speeches of four international political leaders during the first 6 months of 2020
Speeches given by political leaders during a time of crisis are important tools in the management of uncertainty and public anxiety. The Covid-19 health crisis has been shaped by constant uncertainty in relation to the novel coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2) itself, infection routes and mortality rates. This project will analyse speeches made by leaders in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom during the first six months of the health crisis. In this context, political speeches are viewed as texts constructed by a variety of contributors (e.g. the speaker, experts, speech writers) rather than examples of spontaneous or naturalistic speech. The findings of this research will contribute new knowledge to the fields of political and health communication by exploring and evaluating how uncertainty was used to encourage compliance with politically-driven health and infection control directives.
PI.: Dr Margo Turnbull
Co-I.: Prof. Bernadette Watson, Dr Blair Ying Jin
Using wireless technologies in health communication: Using mHealth to promote safety in the home amongst Hong Kong elders
Recent technological advances have seen the emergence of mHealth technologies (i.e. the use of mobile and wireless technologies) as important tools in health promotion such as the dissemination of health-related information. While these technologies may be considered as more popular and widely used among younger adults, it has been proved by recent studies (e.g. Shen et al., 2018) to be effective tools to engage the elderly population, particular people who are disadvantaged and less capable to participate in more traditional health promotion activities, in learning health behaviors. Given the global trend of the aging population, the increasing use of some high-tech gadgets (e.g. smart phones and tablets), and the age-related differences in individual behaviors of using these technologies, the center is interested in identifying the use of mHealth tools among HK elders and the impact of these tools on promoting health behaviors and health literacy. Rather than developing an app or a program, we are piloting a way of investigating how older HK residents may use a smart phone or tablet in learning health behaviors and risk prevention (i.e. falls at home). The center is now at the final stage negotiation with a local elderly center. We intend to include some focus group interviews to see participants’ perceptions on health information on mHealth technologies. Themes and patterns of the data will also be analyzed. The project involves interdisciplinary effort with experts from psychology, linguistics, and health communication. The expected outcome promises contributions to the knowledge of health promotion, safety, and digital communication.
For more information, please visit https://www.researchgate.net/project/mHealth-Exploring-how-older-Hong-Kong-residents-use-mHealth-technologies