My research interests have gradually evolved through my life experiences and opportunities. With my background in nursing and health promotion, I am able to bring a unique perspective to health communication research. My research focuses on the strategic communication of health information. I utilize foundational approaches to strategic communication to engage pressing issues in health communication. My research interests are at the intersection of communication theory, visual message features, and cancer risk communication. I also utilize physiological measures (e.g., eye-tracking, skin conductance, facial expression analysis) in my research.

Peer-reviewed Publications

Pokharel, M., Jensen, J. D., John, K. K., Christy. K. R., Taylor-Burton, S. & Upshaw, S (2022). Visual tailoring and skin cancer prevention: Comparing personalized, stock, and non-ultraviolet images. Health Communication.

Lillie, H., Ratcliff, C., Pokharel, M., & Jensen, J. D. (in press). Encouraging replotting to promote persuasion: How imagining alternative plotlines influences message processing and intentions. Communication Research.

Lillie, H., Jensen, J. D., Pokharel, M., & Upshaw, S. J. (in press). Death narratives, negative emotion, and counterarguing: Testing fear, anger, and sadness as mechanisms of effect. Journal of Health Communication.

Upshaw, S., Jensen, J.D., Giorgi, E.A., Pokharel, M., Lillie, H.M. Adams, D.R., John, K.K., Wu, Y.P., & Grossman, D. (in press). Developing skin cancer education materials for darker skin populations: Crowdsourced design, message targeting, and acral lentiginous melanoma. Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Lillie, H., Pokharel, M., Bergstrom, M. J., & Jensen, J. D. (2021). Perspective change in a time of crisis: The emotion and critical reflection model. In D. O’Hair & M. J. O’Hair (Eds.), Communicating science in times of crisis: Coronavirus. Wiley

Lillie, H., Pokharel, M., John, K. K., Christy, K. R., Upshaw, S., Giorgi, E. A., & Jensen, J. D. (2021). Does it matter if a story character lives or dies?: A message experiment comparing survivor and death narratives. Psychology & Health.

Coe, K., Kuttner, P. J., Pokharel, M., Park-Ozee, D., & McKasy, M. (2020). The “discourse of derision” in news coverage of education: A mixed methods analysis of an emerging frame. American Journal of Education, 126(3), 423-445.

Pokharel, M., Elrick, A., Canary, H., Clayton, M., Sukovic, M., Champine, M., Hong, S. J., & Kaphingst, K. A. (2020). Health communication roles in Latino, Pacific Islander, and Caucasian families: A qualitative investigation.  Journal of Genetic Counseling. https ://

Jensen, J. D., Pokharel, M., King, A. J., John, K. K., Wu, Y., & Grossman, D. (2019). Obstacles to skin self-examination: Are frontier adults inclined abstainers?. Psychology, Health & Medicine.

Jensen, J. D., Pokharel, M., Carcioppolo, N., Upshaw, S., John, K. K., & Katz, R. (2019). Cancer information overload: Discriminant validity and relationship to sun-safe behavior. Patient Education & Counseling.

 Pokharel, M., Christy, K. R., Jensen, J. D., Giorgi, E., John, K. K., & Wu, Y. P. (2019). Do ultraviolet photos increase sun safe behavior expectations via fear? A randomized controlled trial in a sample of U.S. adults. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 42(3), 401-422. doi: 10.1007/s10865-018-9997-5

Canary, H., Elrick, A., Pokharel, M., Clayton, M., & Kaphingst, K. A. (2019). Family health history tools as communication resources: Perspectives from Caucasian, Hispanic, and Pacific Islander families. Journal of Family Communication, 19(2), 126-143.

 Kaphingst, K. A., Peterson, E., Zhao, J., Gaysynsky, A., Elrick, A. H., Hong, S. J., Krakow, M., Pokharel, M., Ratcliff, C. L., Klein, W. M., Khoury, M. J., & Chou, W. S., (2019). Cancer communication research in the era of genomics and precision medicine: A scoping review. Genetics in Medicine, 21, 1691-1698.

Jensen, J. D., John, K. K., Freeman, J., Carcioppolo, N., & Pokharel, M. (2018). Drink monitoring for self and others: Precollege drinkers and the Bad-Habit-Formation Hypothesis. Addiction Research & Theory, 27(3), 198-203.

John, K. K., Jensen, J. D., King, A. J., Pokharel, M., & Grossman, D. (2018). Emerging applications of eye-tracking technology in dermatology. Journal of Dermatological Science, 91(2), 117-123.

Christy, K. R., Jensen, J. D., Sarapin, S. H., Yale, R. N., Weaver, J., & Pokharel, M. (2017). Theorizing the impact of targeted narratives: Model admiration and narrative memorability. Journal of Health Communication, 10, 1–9.

Jensen, J. D., Pokharel, M. Scherr, C. L., King, A. J., Brown, N., & Jones, C. (2017). Communicating uncertainty to the public: How amount and source of uncertainty impact fatalism, backlash, and overload. Risk Analysis, 37(1), 40-51.                                             *2017 Best Paper in Risk Analysis

Kaphingst K. A., Blanchard, M., Milam, L., Pokharel, M., Elrick, A., & Goodman, M. S. (2016). Relationships between health literacy and genomics-related knowledge, self-efficacy, perceived importance, and communication in a medically underserved population. Journal of Health Communication, 21(sup1), 58-68.

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