Aurora Occa

Aurora Occa is a fourth year doctoral candidate in communication. Her main interests concern health communication and intervention design. She is focused on creating persuasive messages to help people prevent diseases, maintain their health, search for treatments, and understand science. This also includes studying how health professionals and patients interact, with the purpose of developing guidelines and training programs for physicians, nurses, and clinical staff. To do this, she conducts qualitative and quantitative research projects, while being guided by theories and insights from several fields. For her research, she collaborates with teams located all over the world.


Featured Publications

Peer-reviewed Publications

Occa A., Morgan S.E., & Potter J.E. (2017). Underrepresentation of Hispanics and other minorities in clinical trials: Recruiters' perspectives. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 1-11.

Rangelov N., Suggs L.S., Occa A., Radchuk O., & Schmeil A. (2017). Online games to improve children’s knowledge of nutrition and physical activity guidelines – A pilot study. Global Journal of Health Science. 9(4), 134-141.

Morgan, S.E., Occa A., Mouton A., Peter M., & Potter, J. (2017). You need to be a good listener: Recruiters’ use of relational communication behaviors to recruit and consent participants for clinical trials and research studies. Journal of Health Communication. 22(2), 95-101.

Occa, A., & Suggs, L. S. (2016). Communicating breast cancer screening with young women: An experimental test of didactic and narrative messages using video and infographics. Journal of Health Communication. 21(1), 1-11.

Occa A., & Morgan, S.E. (2016). The art and science of engaging patients into medical research: using professional recruiters' experiences to inform physicians and scientific directors' strategic choices. Recenti Progressi in Medicina. 107(11), 602-603.

Morgan, S.E., Occa, A., Mouton A., & Potter, J. (2016). The role of nonverbal communication behaviors in clinical trial and research study recruitment. Health Communication. 32(4), 461-469.

Morgan, S.E., Mouton, A., Occa, A, & Potter, J. (2016) Clinical trial and research study recruiters’ verbal communication behaviors. Journal of Health Communication. 21(7), 765-772.

Evans, C., Turner, K., Suggs, L.S., Occa, A., Juma, A., & Blake, H., (2016). Developing a mHealth intervention to promote uptake of HIV testing among African communities in the UK: A qualitative study. BMC Public Health. 16(1), 1-16.

Evans C., Turner K., Blake H., Juma A., Suggs L.S., Occa A., (2015). Text messaging to encourage uptake of HIV testing amongst African communities: Findings from a theory based feasibility study, HIV Medicine, 16(Suppl. 2), p. 54.

Book Chapters

Occa A., & Morgan S.E. (in press). Training programs for improving communication about medical research and clinical trials: A systematic review. In M. Prostran (Ed.) Clinical Trials in Vulnerable Populations, InTech.

Morgan S.E., Finn A., Raley J., Peng W., Occa A., McFarlane S.J., Krieger J., Potter J.E (in press). Assessing communication practice during clinical trial recruitment and consent: The Clinical Trial Communication Inventory (CTCI). In M. Prostran (Ed.) Clinical trials in vulnerable populations. InTech.

Suggs L.S., Rangelov N., Schmeil A., Occa A., Bardus M., Radchuk O. and Dianat S. (2013). “E-Health Services.” In International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication & Society, Wiley-Blackwell. 1-9.

Conference Papers

Occa A., Anderson D., Kim S., & Morgan S. E. (2017). A comparison of metaphor modality and appeals in the context of skin cancer prevention. To be presented at the National Communication Association Conference, Dallas, Texas, USA.
 
Occa A., Morgan S. E., McFarlane S., Peng W., & Potter J. (2017). A pilot training to improve medical professionals’ verbal and nonverbal communication about clinical trials and research studies. To be presented at the National Communication Association Conference, Dallas, Texas USA (Top Paper Award).
 
McFarlane S.J., Morgan S.E, Occa A. (2017). A systematic review of community-based participatory research to enhance clinical trials in vulnerable populations. 15th Annual Disparities in Health in America: Working Toward Social Justice Workshop. Houston, TX, USA.
 
Zhou C. & Occa A. (2017). A meta-analysis of narrative-based serious digital games for promoting healthy behaviors. ICA Pre-Conference on Innovations in Narrative-Based Intervention Design, Development, and Evaluation. San Diego, USA.
 
Occa A., Morgan, S.E., & Potter, J. (2016). Underrepresentation of minorities in clinical trials: recruiters’ perspectives. National Communication Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
 
Occa A. & Morgan S.E. (2016). Structure, materials, and outcomes of training programs for improving clinical trials communication: a systematic review. National Communication Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (Top Paper Award).
 
Carcioppolo, N., Occa, A., & Chudnovskaya, E. (2016). When is it OK to joke? Specifying how and when humor may be a more appropriate message frame than fear. National Communication Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
 
Occa A. & Morgan, S.E. (2016). The art and science of engaging patients into medical research: using professional recruiters' experiences to inform physicians and scientific directors' strategic choices. Convegno dell’Associazione Alessandro Liberati/Network Italiano Cochrane. 31 May 2016, Rome, Italy
 
Occa A., (2016). A textual analysis of HPV vaccine educational videos targeting adolescents on YouTube. Media+Health Symposium at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia, USA.
 
Occa A., Leopold J, (2016). “You’ve Been Nominated!” Using social ties to strategically influence engagement in social marketing interventions. Media+Health Symposium at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia, USA.
 
Chen, Z., Hong, C., Occa, A., (2016). CSR as an international relationship management strategy: Linking CSR, organizational-employee relationships, and employee behavioral outcomes. 19th annual International Public Relations Research Conference, Miami, Florida, USA.
 
Chen, Z., Hong, C., Occa, A., (2015). The effects of corporate social responsibility on organization-employee relationships: The moderating role of perceived fit. RSA Educators Academy ‘Super Saturday’ research conference. Atlanta, South Carolina, USA.
 
Morgan S.E., Occa A., Leopold J., Mouton A., Peter M., (2015). Like a chameleon”: Clinical trial and research study recruiters’ verbal and nonverbal communication strategies. National Communication Association, Las Vegas, Arizona, USA (Top Paper Award).
 
Ramaprasad J., Occa A., Leopold J., (2015). Indian journalists on new media technological changes, censorship and control, prestige. International Association for Media and Communication Research, Montreal, Canada.
 
Morgan S.E., Mouton A., Occa A., Leopold J., Peter M., (2015). Research study recruiters’ perceptions of barriers to the accrual of unserved populations. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Retreat. Miami, Florida, USA (Poster) 
 
Occa A., Sugg S.L., (2014). Confronto tra strategie comunicative su canali digitali nel parlare di tumore al seno alle giovani donne. Convegno dell’Associazione Alessandro Liberati/Network Italiano Cochrane. 23 May 2014, Milan, Italy. (Poster)

Working Papers

Occa, A., Suggs, L.S. (07/11/2014). Il segreto degli strumenti di comunicazione vincenti nell’ambito della prevenzione e della diagnosi precoce del tumore al seno. Un confronto tra strategie comunicative su canali digitali. On http://www.partecipasalute.it/cms_2/node/4879
 
Suggs L. S. & Occa A. (07/2014). Final Report ’Ever:Fresh’ - An external evaluation and communication strategy consultancy for a Swiss program to prevent tobacco consumption among teens.
 
Evans, C., Juma, A., Turner, K., Blake, H, Suggs, L.S., & Occa, A. (2015). Final report “Health4U text messaging to promote uptake of HIV testing amongst African communities in Nottingham: A feasibility study.