Dr. Kaphingst is a health communication research who uses both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Her current work focuses on the communication of genetic and genomic information to patients and the general public. Her team is particularly interested in how health literacy and numeracy impact cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses to this information among individuals from diverse communities.
Dr. Kimberly Kaphingst is a health communication researcher. Her research interests are in health literacy, cancer communication, family history, and the communication of genetic and genomic information. She led a series of intramural studies at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) that examined predictors of individuals' understanding of and responses to genetic information across various disease outcomes. She was a Co-Investigator on the study team for the intramural Multiplex Initiative at NHGRI, a study designed to examine uptake of multiplex genetic susceptibility testing among a population-based sample of healthy adults ages 25-40. Dr. Kaphingst led the working group that developed the Multiplex genetic susceptibility test results feedback strategy and examined participants' use of the study website and how this affected their decision making for uptake of the Multiplex test. She also led an analysis of participants' recall and comprehension, affective responses, and information seeking and health behaviors following receipt of the test results feedback. Dr. Kaphingst was the Principal Investigator on a recently completed study (R01 CA168608) to examine preferences for return of genome sequencing results among young breast cancer patients. She also co-led a supplemental project to the Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities grant (3U54CA153460) at Washington University, which examined preferences for models of consent for secondary research uses of biospecimens among a diverse sample of women. She previously led a qualitative investigation of African American women's reactions to and use of two family history tools. In her current work, Dr. Kaphingst is investigating understanding of shared familial risk and family communication among Caucasian, Latino, and Pacific Islander families.