Laura A Linnan
Director, Carolina Collaborative for Research on Work and Health; Professor, Health Behavior
Cancer Prevention and Control
Area of interest
My practice and research-related interests focus on applied community-based interventions attempting to reduce individual and population-based risks for cancer and a variety of other chronic diseases. My studies often attempt to understand the dynamic interplay between individuals, organizations, communities and policies, particularly among underserved populations. Contextual influences on health are a primary interest. Presently, I have studies underway (or under review) that take place in a variety of community-based settings including worksites, public libraries, beauty salons, and churches. I am presently working with colleagues to develop several new measures to document contextual influences on health, including health-related norms, indicators of participatory involvement, social capital, and institutionalization/sustainability. Health behaviors of interest include: smoking, physical inactivity, sun exposure, stress, and diet (as single risk factors, and within a multiple risk factor context). Multiple level interventions that include community, organizational and individual targets are typically employed that include participatory research approaches, lay health advisors, targeted/tailored message development using phone, print and internet-based channels. Both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and analysis are included in the majority of my work to appreciate all dimensions of the research question and intervention results. Both healthy populations, as well as cancer survivors and their families, are addressed in my present research efforts.