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Barbara F. Sharf

Photo of faculty member Barbara Sharf
Professor Emeritus
Contact
  • bsharf@tamu.edu
Professional Links

Introduction

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Dr. Sharf pursues qualitative forms of investigation and analysis, particularly narrative inquiry, as applied to the study of health communication. Her focus over the past decade has been on communicative aspects of complementary/integrative health care.

Bio

Prior to joining the Department of Communication at Texas A & M, I was a faculty member in the Department of Medical Education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine from 1978-98 where I also served as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Head of the Medical Humanities Program. At Texas A & M University from 1998-2011, I taught classes in health communication, qualitative research, and narrative inquiry, and helped establish the doctoral program in health communication.  I’m the author or co-author of three books and more than 75 academic journal articles and book chapters. Currently as Professor Emerita at Texas A & M, I live in Durham, North Carolina, remain active in conducting and publishing research.

My scholarship is best known for its use of qualitative forms of investigation and analysis, particularly narrative inquiry, as applied to the study of health communication. My research interests have encompassed communication in clinical settings; patients’ experiences of illness; cultural influences on health care; health disparities related to race/ethnicity, class, and geographic location; and the portrayal of health and illness in popular media.  Over the past decade, my focus has been on integrative approaches to health care in the U.S.; that is, how conventional biomedicine and complementary and alternative forms of healing have been interfacing or integrating, as well as the forces of resistance against such changes.  From 2015-18, I was very fortunate to be a U.S. FuIbright Research Scholar, as a guest in the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore, conducting comparative research on similar issues in this multicultural context.

Representative Publications

  • B.F. Sharf (2019). On witnessing the precipice between life and death. Health Communication https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2019.1600102
  • V. Ramadurai, B.F. Sharf & S. Ramasuramanian (2015). Roads less traveled: Findina a path to using complementary and alternative medicine. Qualitative Health Research, 1-13, doi: 10.177/1049732315582009
  • B.F. Sharf (2014). Health narratives and narrative inquirly. In T. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Health Communication Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • B.F. Sharf, P. Geist-Martin & J. Moore (2013).  Communicating healing in a third space:  Real and imagined forms of integrative medicine.  In L.M. Harter & Assoc., Imagining new normals: A narrative framework for health communication. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
  • B.F. Sharf, P. Geist-Martin, K-K. Cosgriff Hernandez, J. Moore (2012).  Trailblazing healthcare:  Institutionalizing and integrating complementary medicinePatient Education and Counseling 89, 434-438. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2012.03.006
  • B.F. Sharf, L.M. Harter, J. Yamasaki & P. Haidet (2011).  Narrative turns epic: Continuing developments in health narrative scholarship.  In J. Nussbaum, R. Parrott & T. Thompson, (Eds.), Handbook of Health Communication, 2nd ed.  New York: Routledge.
  • B.F. Sharf & M.L. Vanderford (2003).  Social narratives and the construction of health. In A. Dorsey, K.I. Miller, R. Parrott & T. Thompson, (Eds.), Handbook of Health Communication (pp. 9-34). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • B.F. Sharf (1997).  Communicating breast cancer on-line: Support and empowerment on the Internet.  Women and Health, 26 (1), 63-82.  DOI:10.1300/J013v26n01
  • B.F. Sharf (2019). On witnessing the precipice between life and death. Health Communication https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2019.1600102
  • B.F. Sharf (2014). Health narrative and narrative inquiry. In T. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Health Communication Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • V. Ramaduri, B.F. Sharf & S. Ramasubramanian(2015). Roads less traveled: Finding a path to using complementary and alternative medicine. Qualitative Health Research, 1-3, doi: 10.1177/1049732315582009

Books

book: Storied Health and IllnessJill YamasakiPatricia Geist-MartinBarbara F. Sharf (2017). Storied Health and Illness: Communicating Personal, Cultural, and Political Complexities. Waveland Press, Long Grove, IL.

Storied Health and Illness brings together dozens of noteworthy scholars, both established and emerging, in a provocative collection that embraces narrative ways of knowing to think about, analyze, and reconsider our own and others’ health beliefs, behaviors, and communication. Comprehensive content reflects the editors’ substantial research in integrative health, narrative care, and innovative ways of improving well-being and quality of life in personal relationships, healthcare, the workplace, and community settings.

 


book: Communicating HealthP. Geist-Martin, E. B. Ray and B. F. Sharf (2003). Communicating Health: Personal, Cultural and Political Complexities. Wadsworth Publishing Co: Belmont CA. *Currently Reprinted: (2011). Waveland Press: Long Grove, IL. 

The first survey text for health communication, written for graduate and upper-division undergraduate levels, with an emphasis on a narrative approach to major concepts in the field.

 

 

 


B. F. Sharf (1984). The Physician’s Guide to Better Communication. Scott, Foresman: Glenview, IL.