I study health communication in personal and patient-provider relationships, specifically focusing on the role communication plays in how people understand health. My research illuminates two perspectives: individuals’ understandings of their own health and individuals’ understandings of others’ health. My first line of research examines how people’s understandings of their own health are fundamentally shaped by their identity—who they are and who they want to be in relation to health. My second research area involves investigating how healthcare providers and personal social network members experience and manage uncertainty they have when trying to understand another’s health.

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