Improving Patient Outcomes Through Physician Communication: Message Frame and Presentation Mode Influence on the Walking Behavior of Type 2 Diabetes

Christian JW Ledford

Major Professor: Gary L. Kreps, PhD, Department of Communication

Committee Members: Paul Clark, Melinda Villagran, Xiaoquan Zhao

Enterprise Hall, 178
April 01, 2011, 09:00 AM to 10:45 AM


The following study examined interpersonal (physician to patient) communication strategies for promoting walking 
exercise to type 2 diabetic patients assigned to primary care clinics. The study evaluated two message design
variables – gain/loss framing and presentation mode – as potential influencers of communication and adoption success.
This multimethodological study included a qualitative analysis of physicians’ current exercise promotion and a
quantitative test of the effectiveness of message framing and presentation mode. This was a single-site, 6-week,
prospective intervention study, with a 2x3 factorial, time series non-equivalent control group quasi-experiment study
design. Results provided further evidence for the effectiveness of gain frames in promoting exercise behaviors.
Also found here was an interaction effect of framing and patient activation on exercise behavior. No effects were
detected for presentation mode.