Research Interests: intersection of risk communication
and health behavior outcomes
Dr. Rintamaki is a health communication scientist with postdoctoral training in general internal medicine and health services research. He currently maintains a variety of studies focused on how social stigma serves as a barrier to key health behaviors among people managing chronic illness. For instance, several of his ongoing projects identify ways in which concern for social stigma impairs HIV treatment adherence. He also conducts prevention research focused on identifying and eliminating transmission vectors of communicable diseases.
One such project has revealed how strategies for managing stigma and stereotypes surrounding HIV sometimes lead people living with the virus to engage in behaviors likely to infect others. Lastly, Dr. Rintamaki studies how social stigma can affect provider-patient interactions, leading to misunderstandings, hard feelings, and patient avoidance of the healthcare system. His work in this area relating to HIV stigma has received attention in mainstream media outlets, as well as clinical and infectious disease publications across the country.
National Communication Association, International Comminication Association, American Academy on Communication in Healthcare