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. In my early graduate research career, I have worked in diverse research projects including but not limited to uncertainty communication, targeting, narratives, genetic communication, health literacy, and family health communication. My research focuses on the strategic communication of health information. I utilize foundational approaches to strategic communication to engage pressing issues in health communication. Among several areas of health communication, I have narrowed down my research interests 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., 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.

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.

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., (2018). Cancer communication research in the era of genomics and precision medicine: A scoping review. Genetics in Medicine.

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.

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.

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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