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Philip Massey, PhD, MPH

Philip Massey

Assistant Professor
Community Health and Prevention
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BS, Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; MPH, Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles; PhD, Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles


Dr. Massey earned both an MPH in Community Health Sciences (2009) and his Ph.D. in Public Health with a concentration in Health Communication and Global Health (2013) from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. His research focuses on health literacy as well as the role of expanding technologies on participatory health communication and health promotion, both domestically and globally.

From 2009 to 2012 he worked on NIH-funded intervention research that examined health literacy among low-income adolescents. This project engaged multiple stakeholders including a large health insurance agency and a technology company to develop a social media intervention that helped adolescents develop health literacy skills to better utilize preventive health care services. Additionally, his dissertation research examined diffusion patterns of internet use in the U.S., the multifaceted and interactive nature of health information seeking, and the impact of online health information seeking by the health consumer on patient-provider encounters.

Dr. Massey has over eight years of experience in global health and has lived and worked in Senegal, Niger, and French Guiana. His current research in West Africa examines health, media, computer, and digital literacy among Senegalese youth to better understand the health and information technology landscape as well as to inform future health-focused interventions that leverage new and digital media. Additionally, he is working with a Senegalese non-governmental organization to develop and evaluate a television serial drama on health and social justice that incorporates interactive components such as SMS and community forums to engage audience members.

His future research agenda includes examining the intersection of health communication and behavioral economics, particularly the role of choice architecture and decision making in the context of health promotion, nutrition, and physical activity. His research has been published in journals including Health Education Research, American Journal of Health Behavior, World Health and Population, and International Quarterly of Community Health Education.

    For more information, visit his personal website:

    Research Interests

    • Digital Technologies in Public Health
    • Health Literacy
    • Health Communication
    • Global Health
    • Health Disparities
    • Health Promotion

    My research interests are in health communication and its role in health promotion and education, both domestically and globally. My global work examines participatory health communication strategies among adolescent populations related to reproductive health, and health, media, and digital literacy. My domestic research examines how digital technologies and social media can develop health literacy skills among adolescent populations. I am also interested in exploring the application of behavioral economics to the field of health communication as well as leveraging new technologies for interactive health messaging.


    Massey PM, Prelip M, Calimlim BM, Afifi AA, Quiter ES, Nessim S, Wongvipat-Kalev N, Glik DC. Exploratory findings toward a multidimensional measure of adolescent health literacy. American Journal of Health Behavior. 2013; 37(3): 342-350. doi:10.5993/AJHB.37.3.7

    Massey PM, Prelip M, Rideau A, Glik DC. School-based HIV prevention in Dakar, Senegal: findings from a peer-led program. International Quarterly of Community Health Education. 2013; 33(2): 129-141.doi:10.2190/IQ.33.2.c. PMID: 23661415

    Massey PM, Prelip M, Calimlim B, Quiter E, Glik D.C. Contextualizing an expanded definition of health literacy among adolescents in the health care setting. Health Education Research. 2012; 27(6): 961-974. doi:10.1093/her/cys054. PMCID: PMC3498601

    Massey PM. Reducing Maternal Mortality in Senegal: Using GIS to Identify Priority Regions for the Expansion of Human Resources for Health. World Health & Population. 2011; 13(2): 13-22. Available from: PMID: 22543440

    Massey PM, Morawski BM, Rideau A, Glik DC. Health Communication via New Media: An Internet-Based Peer Community Dedicated to Health Information Created by Youth in Dakar, Senegal. Cases in Public Health Communication & Marketing. 2009; 3: 13-37. Available from: