Informatics Research Seminar: Consumer Health Informatics: An innovative technology for self-management of chronic disease

October 7 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Constance Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN
Presented from Duke University

Broadcast Link: Seminar



Many forces are driving the need for new media to assist patients in chronic illness self-management: the need to eliminate barriers to healthcare; to accommodate limited health literacy; and provide sustainable, cost-effective patient education and support.  Internet interventions have the potential to capture the dynamics of the patient-provider interaction, but to date internet health interventions have remained “flat” and unidirectional with asynchronous communication. Virtual environments (VEs) are a potential means of capturing the dynamics between patient and provider. This medium provides ongoing interaction, synchronous communication, knowledge application, and social networking, creating an immersive experience to potentially change and/or sustain behavior. This presentation will review the results of a pilot study that tested a theoretically grounded, technologically based, bio-behavioral intervention using a virtual environment to facilitate self-management and control of diabetes. Preliminary findings of the pilot study showed statistically significant changes in self-efficacy, social support, and foot care.  Based on the successful feasibility study, Dr. Johnson will also present on the progress of her currently funded randomized controlled trial that will determine whether participation in Learning in a Virtual Environment (LIVE), will be associated with positive changes in health behaviors and metabolic outcomes in adults with type 2 diabetes.


Dr. Constance Johnson  is an Associate Professor with tenure, Health Informatician, and Faculty Coordinator of the Informatics, Education and Leadership Programs in the Duke University School of Nursing. She has a secondary appointment in Community and Family Medicine at Duke University and is adjunct faculty at the University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center, School of Biomedical Informatics. She earned her Bachelor’s from the University of Connecticut and her Master’s of Science and PhD from the University of Texas at Houston, School of Biomedical Informatics. Her career has been devoted to changing the way information is presented to clinicians and patients to improve the decision-making that impacts health.  Her work in human-computer interaction has significantly contributed to a new vision using novel technological tools that assist patients to engage in the self-management of chronic illnesses. As a Primary Investigator, she has received funding from the National Library of Medicine, the National Cancer Institute, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. She is also a Co-Investigator and Co-Primary Investigator on several other funded grants. Dr. Johnson additionally serves as an expert on the Health Level 7 International Standards Usability Working Group, now developing usability standards for the electronic health record.  Dr. Johnson has numerous publications and presentations at national conferences and mentors both masters and doctoral students.