Information, Perceptions, and Public Health

Bier and Taylor present their work at Visible Thinking 2023

In Spring of 2022, Brooke Bier '23 (Psychology) and Taylor Parker '24 (Chemistry) received a Student Team Grant Award to investigate how patients choose their doctors. Bier and Parker teamed up with mentors Dr. Cheryl Lin and Dr. Pikuei Tiu to explore how different patient variables, such as socioeconomic status and health literacy, play a role in healthcare decisions. Their project, "Information, Perceptions, and Public Health" dove deeper into patient choice and health decision-making research.

By Brooke Bier and Taylor Parker

In Spring 2022, we had the opportunity to work on our Bass Connections project named “Information, Perceptions, and Public Health,” which sparked our passion for and interest in health decision-making research. Looking forward to the 2022-2023 academic year, we hoped to continue this work. As a result, we teamed up with the support of Dr. Cheryl Lin and Dr. Pikuei Tu in order to investigate how patients choose their doctors and the different patient variables that come into play.

In the past year, we conducted a systematic review of studies examining patient choice of doctor in the context of socioeconomic status. From our research, we learned that there is a paucity of research regarding health literacy and patient choice, specifically for the process of choosing a doctor. We are hopeful this lack of knowledge can be addressed as more research is conducted.

This work was unique as it differed in many ways from the structure of our other courses. Each week, it was up to the both of us to complete various tasks, whether that be paper iterations, additional research, or data analysis; Drs. Lin and Tu provided helpful feedback and suggestions while allowing us the freedom to make our own decisions. Time-management was key, as it was uncertain what each week would bring.

We are both immensely grateful for the opportunity to have worked with the Duke Undergraduate Research Support Office, Bass Connections, and of course, Drs. Lin and Tu. We are excited to see the future of research in our field as well as Duke’s efforts to continue supporting undergraduate research interests.  

Learn more about Student Team Grants here.