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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Karyn Jones

Associate Professor

Office: 413 Edwards Hall



Educational Background

PhD Mass Communication/Health Promotion & Behavior
The University of Georgia 2003

MA Interpersonal Communication/Health Communication
The University of Georgia 1994

BS Communication Arts/Public Relations
Georgia Southern University 1992

Courses Taught

Public Health Courses Taught
HLTH 4990, Independent Study in Public Health Sciences
HLTH 4110, Health Needs of At-Risk Children and Families
HLTH 4100, Maternal and Child Health
HLTH 4100H, Maternal and Child Health for Honors Students
HLTH 4000, Public Health Campaigns
HLTH 3100, Women’s Health
HLTH 3030, Public Health Communication
HLTH 2400, Determinants of Health

Communication Courses Taught
Undergraduate Courses:
Business and Professional Communication (TA)
Communication and Health
Communication Theory
Honors sequence (honors student advising and research)
Intercultural Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Introduction to Communication Studies
Mass Communication Theory
Public Relations
Public Speaking
Quantitative Research Methods
Senior Capstone/Creative Inquiry (guided senior thesis research)
Special Topics in Communication Studies
Strategic Communication for Social Change
Graduate Courses:
Health Communication
Health Communication Planning and Evaluation
Special Topics in Health Communication


Dr. Karyn Ogata Jones’ passion for health behavior research began with her work as a Master’s student at the University of Georgia in the early 1990s. While completing her graduate coursework, she was selected to serve as a research assistant on the NIOSH-funded “Harvesting Healthy Habits” (Cancer Control for Georgia Farming Populations, R. Parrott and C. Steiner, PIs) project. She interviewed public health migrant outreach workers, conducted field and survey research, and helped develop social cognitive theory-driven public education campaigns to improve skin cancer knowledge, prevention, and screening behaviors among farmers, farm workers, and their families. Upon completing her MA coursework, she was hired as a graduate intern in the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Cancer Control Section to assist with statewide public education, communication, and grant writing efforts. After her team secured over $2.5 million in initial annual funding from the CDC to expand Georgia’s breast and cervical cancer screening programs as part of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (BCCSP), she served as Communications Consultant, a position she held for four years. In this role, she developed and coordinated statewide BCCSP public education and recruitment efforts and provided technical assistance, training, and administrative support to county, district, and state-level public health staff and community partners for their breast cancer, cervical cancer, skin cancer, tobacco use prevention, and women’s health programs, and she was appointed to serve as the DPH representative to the Georgia Coalition on Donation. Upon returning to graduate school in 1999, she worked as a research assistant on the CDC-funded “Health & Heritage” (Communicating Genetics Information to the Lay Public, R. Parrott, PI) project. Her doctoral research involved focus group and survey methodology to assess breast cancer knowledge, communication, and screening behaviors among college students and their mothers. While completing her dissertation research, she joined the faculty at Clemson University, and has been a member of the Communication and Public Health Sciences departments and School of Nursing. She is an expert on agenda setting theory applied to health and risk messaging, having published a number of articles examining the effects of the intersection of interpersonal and mediated communication related to health, and has additional recognized areas of expertise in disability communication and breast cancer communication. Her current research includes mindfulness training for individuals with depression, low physical activity, diabetes/prediabetes and those in recovery from alcohol and substance misuse disorders. She grew up in Norcross, Georgia, and currently lives in Jefferson, Georgia. Her oldest child has Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare, randomly-occurring genetic spectrum disorder, with the resulting experiences providing context and inspiration for much of her work. Externally Funded Research Activity: “Using Patient Characteristics to Design Tailored Motivational Interviewing (MI) Approaches for Counseling Patients with Uncontrolled Hypertension: An Intervention Design and Feasibility Study.” (2019-2020). Principal Investigator (M. Jindal, Co-PI). Private donor. Amount: $10,751. "Mindfulness Interventions to Address Depression, Substance Misuse, and Physical Inactivity." (2018-2022). Co-Principal Investigator (L. Shi, PI). Greenville Health Authority. Amount: $558,972. "Improving Patient Communication for the 21st Century: Revising the Patient Needs Assessment Protocol." (2017). Co-Principal Investigator (R.R. Sinclair, PI). Private donor. Amount: $19,938. "Enhancing mHealth Technology in the PCMH Environment to Activate Chronic Care Patients." (2016-2018). Co-Investigator/Collaborator (R. Gimbel, PI). Department of Defense. Invited Editorial Board Memberships: OMB Integrative and Complementary Medicine, 2024 Annals of Public Health, 2022 American Journal of Nursing Science, 2020 Madridge Journal of Women’s Health and Emancipation, 2019

Research Interests

Dr. Jones' current research interests and activities include health behavior interventions, social determinants of health, and strategies to identify/reduce/eliminate the impact of health disparities. She has ongoing projects in areas related to persuasion, motivation, and interpersonal communication about health; tailored health message design and evaluation; mental health and coping strategies of health care providers; communication across interdisciplinary health care teams; effects of adverse childhood experiences on communication and health across the lifespan; and behavioral interventions in the form of mindfulness training. She is affiliated research faculty with the CU School of Health Research (CUSHR) and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research (CAMHR).

Research Publications

Cotter, J.; Jones, K.; Davis, S., Baker, A.; Koci, A. & Boccuto, L. (2024) Effective Patient-Provider Communication in Healthcare Genetics: A Concept Analysis. Frontiers in Communication, Health Commuication (9-2024). doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2024.1373505

Hooshmand, M.; Chen, L.; Lopes, S.; Falgoust, G.; Walker, C.; Meggett, K.; Wang, Y.; Jones, K.; Zhang,L.; Jindal, M.; Shi,L. & Zinzow, H. (2024). Virtual Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for adults with a history of depression: Study protocol for a randomized control trial. JMIR Research Protocols.

Sinclair, R.R., Sawney, G., Jones, K.O., Pittman, M.A., *Watson, G.P., & Bittner, M. (2023). Resilience-related resources predict physicians’ fatigue, job search behavior, and productivity outcomes. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Zhang, L., *Lopes, S., Lavelle, T., Jones, K.O., Chen, L., Jindal, M., Zinzow, H., & Shi, L. (2022). Economic evaluations of mindfulness-based interventions: A systematic review. Mindfulness.

Xia, T., *Lopes, S., Chen, L., *Roth, R., Zinzow, H., Jones, K., Zhang, L., Shi, L. & Jindal, M. (2022). A feasibility study on low-dose mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention among prediabetes and diabetes patients. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 65.

Jones, K.O., *Lopes, S., *Kelly, C., Welsh, R., Chen, L., Wilson, M., Jindal, M., Zinzow, H. & Zhang, L. (2021). A qualitative study of experiences with a mindful walking intervention and mobile device activity measurement. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 57.

Zinzow, H., Shi, L., Rennert, L., Chen, L., *Lopes, S., Zhang, L., Jones, K., Jindal, M., *Stam, C., & Mclain, M. (2020). Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based relapse prevention for opioid use disorders. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 99, December 2020.

Jones, K.; Lopes, S.; Chen, L.; Zhang, L.; Zinzow, H.; Jindal, M.; Mclain, M. & Shi, L. (2019, October). Perceptions about mindfulness-based interventions among individuals recovering from opioid and alcohol use disorders: Findings from focus groups. Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Shi, L.; Crenshaw, B.; Zinzow, H.; Jones, K.; Lopes, S.; Zhang, L.; Rennert, L.; Chen, L.; Wilson, M.; Welsh, R. & Lopes, S. (2019). A pilot study of mindful walking training on physical activity and health outcomes among adults with inadequate activity. Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Bedi, J.; Mayo, R.; Dickes, L.; Chen, L.; Sherrill, W.; Charron, E.; Jones, K.; Franco, R.; & Olinger, M. (2019). Breast cancer survivors’ perspectives on modifiable elements to enhance the endocrine therapy experience. GHS Proceedings.

Bedi, J.; Mayo, R.; Chen, L.; Dickes, L.; Sherrill, W. & Jones. K. (2019). Factors associated with longer endocrine therapy use by South Carolina Medicaid-insured breast cancer survivors. Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice, 27(1), 1-7.

Bedi, J.; Mayo, R.; Chen, L.; Dickes, L.; Sherrill, W.W. & Jones, K. (2018). Endocrine therapy use in the 21st century: Usage rates and temporal trends illustrate opportunities for improvement in South Carolina Medicaid women. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

Jones, K.O. & Crandall, L. (2017, July). Disability and inter-group communication. In Encyclopedia of Inter-Group Communication (H. Giles et al., Eds.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Jones, K. O. (2017, June). Agenda setting in health and risk messaging. In Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Message Design and Processing (R. Parrott, Ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Gimbel, R., Shi, L., Wiliams, J.E., Dye, C.L., Chen, L., Crawford, P., Shry, E.A., Griffin, S.F., Jones, K.O., Sherrill, W.W., Truong, K., Little, J.A., Edwards, K.W., Hing, M., & Moss., J.B. (2017). Enhancing mHealth technology in the patient-centered medical home environment to activate patients with Type 2 diabetes: A multisite feasibility study protocol. JMIR Research Protocols, 6(3), e38 p. 1.

Pindar, L.M. & Jones, K.O. (2012). Religion, spirituality, and disability: Understanding the role of faith in managing disability. In T. Harris and S. Croucher (Eds.), Handbook of Communication and Religion.

Jones, K. O. (2010). Breast cancer communication. In S. Priest (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication.

Jones, K. O. & Pelton, R. (2009). Attribute agenda setting and breast cancer in newspapers. Journal of Health and Mass Communication, 1(1-2).

Sallot, L.,M., Lyon, L.J., Acosta-Alzuru, C., & Jones, K.O. (2008). From aardvark to zebra redux: An analysis of theory development in public relations academic journals into the 21st century. In T.L. Hansen-Horn and B.D. Neff (Eds.), Public relations: From theory to practice, pp. 343-386.

Jones, K.O., Denham, B.E., & Springston, J.K. (2007). Differing effects of mass and interpersonal communication on breast cancer risk estimates: An exploratory study of college students and their mothers. Health Communication, 21(2), 165-176.

Jones, K. O. & Smith, M. R. (2007). Fat, furious, and forever wanting food: Prader-Willi syndrome in major newspapers, 2000-2005. Disability Studies Quarterly, 27(3).

Jones, K.O., Denham, B.E., & Springston, J.K. (2006). Effects of mass and interpersonal communication on breast cancer screening: Advancing agenda setting theory in health contexts. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 34(1), 94-113.

Honors and Awards

Clemson University Board of Trustees Award for Faculty Excellence 2009
Top Research Paper, Disability Issues Caucus, National Communication Association, 2010
Clemson University Provost's Leadership Summit, 2014
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Georgia Southern University Chapter


Qualitative study on perceptions about mindfulness training

breast cancer communication researchgate index

media coverage and disability research

Agenda Setting in Health and Risk Messaging

Qualitative study on mindful walking training for adults with low physical activity

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences | 116 Edwards Hall