Contemporary Electronic Mailing List Use by Health Educators: A Content Analysis of HEDIR MessagesReport as inadecuate

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American Journal of Health Education, v34 n3 p154-161 May-Jun 2003

The International E-Mail Directory of Health Educators (, or HEDIR, is an electronic mailing list specifically developed to facilitate communication among health education professionals worldwide. The study objectives were to characterize the nature of HEDIR messages and assess how well HEDIR is meeting members' communication needs. Researchers developed a 126-item checklist to conduct a content analysis of HEDIR messages. Checklist sections included sender information; message format; exchange of ideas' unsolicited provision of information; topical information; and professional development. Two independent pilot studies established content and face validity, and the interrater reliability of the instrument, using pi coefficient, was computed for each item. Analysis was performed on 794 HEDIR messages, from January 1 to June 7, 2001, printed from the HEDIR Web site. Message senders were of either sex, and the majority were university educators (33.8%). Unsolicited provision of information represented the largest category of messages (47.4%), followed by inquiries for information (27.5%) and responses to inquiries for information (26.1%). The most frequently selected item was unsolicited referral to Web site (15.0%) There were fewer inquiries for opinions than for information. The ratio of responses:inquiries for individual items was greater for opinions than information. Only 6.4% of messages included announcements of positions and 5.7% included calls for papers/abstracts or announcements for upcoming conferences. (Contains 4 tables.)

Descriptors: Conferences (Gatherings), Check Lists, Electronic Mail, Health Education, Opinions, Interrater Reliability, Content Analysis, Professional Development, Web Sites, College Faculty, Referral, Employment, Information Seeking, Responses

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193; Fax: 703-476-9527; e-mail: info[at]; Web site:

Author: Wood, Martin L.; Griffin, Danielle N.; Fredericks, Erika L.; Barrett, Ann C.


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