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Elaine Hsieh

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Dr. Elaine Hsieh

Elaine Hsieh

Position: Professor


Ph. D., University of Illinois, 2004; J.D University of Oklahoma, 2019


Phone: 405-325-3154

Office: Burton Hall 220
Office Hours:   MWF 9:30-10:30 am


For the latest publication and CV, please visit Dr. Hsieh's Homepage 




Spring Courses 2020

  • COMM 3313 Communication and Public Health
  • COMM 4153 Nonverbal Communication

Academic Interests

Dr. Hsieh has been involved in research on bilingual health communication for over a decade. She has conducted ethnographic studies, in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys, and multi-phase studies that examine the interactions between providers and patients who do not share the same language. The three aspects that she has investigated are (a) the discrepancies between the beliefs and the practice of medical interpreters, (b) interpreters' influences on the quality of health care services, and (c) interpreters' mediation of conversational partners' identities and communicative goals. She also has received funding from the National Institutes of Health to further expand her Bilingual Health Communication model, exploring providers’ expectations and needs for medical interpreters.

In the past few years, she also has extended her theoretical interests to examine coping as a coordinated behavior between various parties. She is particularly interested in how social support and health literacy is coordinated and negotiated between the patient and his/her supportive others. She currently pursues two lines of research dealing with health communication for non-English speaking and/or minority patients. The issues are (a) developing a model of bilingual health communication to explain the effectiveness and appropriateness of interpreters' communicative strategies and (b) investigating how patients' (cultural-specific) social support and health literacy influences their coping strategies and health behaviors. Her objective with these two lines of research is to develop theoretical frameworks that not only explain the phenomenon of interest but also guide best practices in health care settings.

Dr. Hsieh’s research findings have been published in Social Science & Medicine, Patient Education and Counseling, Health Communication, Qualitative Health Research, and others. Her model of bilingual health communication has received several national and international top paper awards for its theoretical advancement and practical implications.

Representative Publications

Hsieh, E. (2017). Cross-cultural care: When providers and patients do not share the same language. In B. F. Sharf, J. Yamasaki, & P. Geist-Martin (Eds.), Storied health and illness: Personal, cultural & political complexities (2nd ed.; pp. 69-71). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

Hsieh, E. (2017). Surviving violence in everyday life: A communicative approach to homelessness . Social Work in Public Health, 32, 110-121.

Terui, S. & Hsieh, E. (2016). “Not homeless yet. I’m kind of couch surfing.”: Finding identities for people at a homeless shelter. Social Work in Public Health, 31, 688-699.

Hsieh, E., Bruscella, J. S., Zanin, A., Kramer, E. M. (2016). “It’s not like you need to live 10 or 20 years”: Challenges to patient-centered care in gynecologic oncologist-patient interactions. Qualitative Health Research, 26, 1191-1202.

Hsieh, E. (2016). Voices of the homeless: An emic approach to the experiences of health disparities of people who are homeless. Social Work in Public Health, 31, 328-340.

Hsieh, & Nicodemus, B. (2015). Conceptualizing emotion in healthcare interpreting: A normative approach to interpreters’ emotion work. Patient Education and Counseling, 98, 1474-1481.

Pitaloka, D., & Hsieh, E. (2015). Health as submission and social responsibilities: Embodied Experiences of Javanese Women with Type II Diabetes. Qualitative Health Research, 25, 1155-1165.