Communication Hotspots: How Infrastructure Shapes People’s Health

Eleanor R. Burgess*, Nathan Walter, Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach, Sheila T. Murphy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Informed by communication infrastructure theory (CIT) and the social capital approach to health, this study focused on the role played by communication hotspots: physical places in a community (e.g., parks, churches, or restaurants) where health information is shared between network actors. By analyzing survey data that included information about communication infrastructure, frequency of health conversations, as well as the size and diversity of respondents’ social networks, this study illustrates how communication hotspots may reduce perceived barriers to healthcare among Latinas in the greater Los Angeles area (N = 780). The results suggest that communication hotspots can influence people’s health by facilitating information-sharing activities. In addition, communication hotspots may reduce perceived barriers to healthcare by bringing together diverse network actors. We conclude by considering future health interventions and policy planning to leverage and enhance community members’ interactions at communication hotspots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-371
Number of pages11
JournalHealth communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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