Bernard Appiah joined the Department of Public Health in Falk College as Assistant Professor in Fall 2020.
Prior to joining Syracuse University, Appiah was Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health in the Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health and Public Health Studies. He was the Founding Director of the Research Program on Public and International Engagement for Health. Previously, Appiah served as a Drug Information Pharmacist/Publications Manager at the National Drug Information Resource Centre (NDIRC) for the Ministry of Health in Ghana. He has taught courses such as environmental and occupational health communication, social context of population health, and comparative global health systems.
Appiah’s research interests lie in socio-behavioral approaches for exploring public health issues, global health and environmental health with emphasis on socio-behavioral change communication, public/community engagement interventions, and dissemination of information/knowledge through culturally appropriate communication channels. He is published in several journals, including Psychiatry Research, Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, Lancet Haematology and authored book chapters, technical reports, and many articles for mass media. He has presented at the International Workshop for Practitioners of Engagement Between Health Researchers and Schools in Kilifi, Kenya, the West African Society of Pharmacologists (WASOP) Conference in Ghana, and Falling Walls Engage in Germany. Appiah is director of the Research Program on Health Communication and Public Engagement (H-COPE) at Syracuse University’s Department of Public Health. H-COPE has research collaborations in New York State, nationally and globally. His research has received support from funding agencies such as the Wellcome Trust, UK, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, USAID Ghana.
Among the most recent supporters of his research is the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. Appiah is the recipient of numerous teaching and research fellowships and other honors including being named as a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow in 2018 and 2016. He currently serves as Director of the Centre for Science and Health Communication, a non-profit in Ghana; member of the Healthcare Safety and Quality Expert Committee of the U.S. Pharmacopeia; member of the Publications and Presentations Committee of the NIH-funded BLOODSAFE Program; and reviewer for journals such as Public Understanding of Science, PLOS Global Public Health, Patient Education and Counseling, and Exploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy.
Ph.D. in Health Promotion & Community Health Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2013
M.S. in Science & Technology Journalism, Texas A&M University, 2010
M.D.C. in Development Communication, University of the Philippines Open University, 2010
B.Pharm, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology
Socio-behavioral approaches for exploring public health issues, global health and environmental health with emphasis on socio-behavioral change communication, public/community engagement interventions, and dissemination of information/knowledge through culturally appropriate communication channels.
- Design, implementation or evaluation of drama, mass media and mobile health interventions.
- Public or community engagement approaches for addressing health challenges, including inadequate blood donation
- Media coverage of public health issues.
- Pharmaceutical health services issues including medication adherence, antimicrobial resistance reporting of adverse drug reactions and vaccination.
- Global health.
Docu-drama and WhatsApp for Promoting Blood Donation
Inadequate blood donation is a critical public health challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) aims to design, implement and evaluate community-based strategies for increasing the blood-donor pool in Ghana. It is one of three consortia funded under the NHLBI’s BLOODSAFE program to improve the availability and safety of blood in Sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Appiah’s role in the project involves designing, implementing and evaluating docu-drama, WhatsApp and active community group interventions to encourage first-time blood donors to become repeat blood donors. The study will use implementation science approaches and randomized controlled trials to design and test the feasibility, cultural appropriateness, acceptability and effectiveness of community-based interventions for promoting blood donation.
Radio Intervention for Promoting Childhood Vaccination
Vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and tuberculosis are still claiming lives of children in part because of inadequate childhood vaccination. In this project, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr Appiah is leading a multidisciplinary team to design, implement and evaluate a radio intervention involving, drama, panel discussion and phone-in by listeners to promote childhood vaccination in Ethiopia. The project was selected as one of the top 20 science engagement projects worldwide in the 2021 Falling Walls Engage competition held in Germany. Docudrama for Strengthening Hearing Impairment Genetics Research
Engaging people with hearing impairment is a challenge for health researchers studying genetics. In this project, we have created two docudrama episodes: one for deaf students and another for siblings and parents of the deaf students. The goal of this project, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust, is to help health researchers in Ghana to use docudrama as a tool for engaging deaf people and their family members to increase their knowledge and awareness of genetics and their subsequent participation in genetics research. The project was selected as one of the top 20 science engagement projects worldwide in the 2021 Falling Walls Engage competition held in Germany.
Content Analysis of Public Health Issues
In this project, we are analyzing how newspapers and other communication channels are covering public health issues such as medication adherence, COVID-19, antimicrobial resistance and sickle cell disease. Current opportunities for students may include searching newspaper databases and analysis.
Mobile Phone Callertunes Project
Have you called a mobile phone number, and instead of hearing the typical ringing sound, you heard a song or a message before the recipient picked the call? If you did, then you were exposed to mobile phone callertunes, also called ringback tones. In this project, we are testing the feasibility of using mobile phone callertunes to address public health issues such as blood donation, mediation adherence and patient reporting of adverse drug reactions.
Identifying science engagement projects involving hard-to-reach and vulnerable communities
This project, which is administered by the Falling Walls Engage, an initiative of Germany-based Falling Walls Foundation, aims to identify elements of innovative and successful science engagement projects involving hard-to-reach and vulnerable communities, and create a guide for science engagers to plan, implement and evaluate their related projects. Current opportunities for students may include literature search, analysis and report writing.
Narrative Intervention to Reduce Caregiver Stress and Aid Schizophrenia Medication Adherence via WhatsApp
This project, funded via Falk Seed grant, aims to create animations on antipsychotics in English, and assess their feasibility and acceptability, and to examine intervention effects on patient/caregiver psychological burden and medication adherence in Ghana. The study uses in-depth interviews to seek perspectives of patients with schizophrenia and their caregivers in designing humor-filled animations on adherence to medications for treating schizophrenia. It will also use a randomized controlled trial involving patient-caregiver dyads to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of using animation disseminated via WhatsApp in improving medication adherence and reducing stress of patients and their caregivers.
Exploring Music Interventions and Mechanisms for Addressing Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
This study, funded through CUSE grant, explores a culturally relevant, theory-based approach to understanding the perspectives of college students with alcohol use disorder, and understanding the mechanisms through which music delivered via mobile phones affects alcohol phenotypes. The current study will also assess the preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of mobile phone-based music interventions for tackling alcohol use disorder. It uses key informant interviews to seek perspectives of college students in creating the intervention, and a pilot randomized controlled trial to test the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of music-based interventions for tackling alcohol use disorder.
- Appiah, B., Asamoah-Akuoko, L., France, C., Rene, A., Amanquah, N., & Bates, I. (2022). Pharmacists and COVID-19 vaccination–Considering mobile phone caller tunes as a novel approach to promote vaccine uptake in low-and middle-income countries. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 18(5), 2898-2903.
- Dei-Adomakoh, Y., Asamoah-Akuoko, L., Appiah, B., Yawson, A., & Olayemi, E. (2021). Safe blood supply in sub-Saharan Africa: challenges and opportunities. The Lancet Haematology, 8(10), e770-e776.
- Asamoah‐Akuoko, L., Ullum, H., Appiah, B., Hassall, O. W., Ndanu, T., Adongo, P., & Bates, I. (2020). Determinants of intention to return to donate blood among first‐time blood donors in Ghana. Vox Sanguinis.
- Appiah, B., Burdine, J.N., Cummings, S., Poudyal, A., Hutchison, R.W., Forjuoh, S.N. and McLeroy, K.R. (2020), The effect of health‐related information seeking and financial strain on medication nonadherence among patients with diabetes and/or hypertension in central Texas. J Pharm Health Serv Res, 11: 261-268.
- Ogundipe, O., Mazidi, M., Chin, K. L., Gor, D., McGovern, A., Sahle, B. W., ... & Ofori-Asenso, R. (2020). Real-world adherence, persistence, and in-class switching during use of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors: a systematic review and meta-analysis involving 594,138 patients with type 2 diabetes. Acta Diabetologica, 1-8.
- Kretchy, I. A., Koduah, A., Ohene-Agyei, T., Boima, V., & Appiah, B. (2020). The association between diabetes-related distress and medication adherence in adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a cross-sectional study. Journal of diabetes research, 2020.
- Appiah, B., Asamoah-Akuoko, L., Samman, E., Koduah, A., Kretchy, I. A., Ludu, J. Y., ... & Gyansa-Luterrodt, M. (2022). The impact of antimicrobial resistance awareness interventions involving schoolchildren, development of an animation and parents engagements: a pilot study. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, 11(1), 1-10.
- Appiah, B., Poudyal, A., Anum, D. A., Appiah, G., Wesuta, A. C., Akodwaa-Boadi, K., ... & Odai, S. N. (2020). Challenges and facilitators of public engagement with water, sanitation, hygiene and other environmental health issues in Ghana and Uganda: perspectives of scientists, journalists and the public. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 10(1), 16-26.
- Appiah, B., Yoshikawa, A., Asamoah-Akuoko, L., Anum, D. A., Kretchy, I. A., Samman, E., ... & Rene, A. (2020). Consumer reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions: modelling the acceptance of mobile phone caller tunes to raise awareness. Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, 11(1), 39-48.
- Kretchy, I. A., Boima, V., Agyabeng, K., Koduah, A., & Appiah, B. (2020). Psycho-behavioural factors associated with medication adherence among male out-patients with hypertension in a Ghanaian hospital. PloS one, 15(1), e0227874.
- Appiah, B., Poudyal, A., Burdine, J. N., Asamoah-Akuoko, L., Anum, D. A., Kretchy, I. A., ... & McKyer, E. L. J. (2019). Factors that influence the intention to use mobile phone caller tunes for patient reporting of adverse drug reactions: a qualitative study. Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety, 10, 2042098619871190.
- Davies, A., Mwango, G., Appiah, B., Callery, J. J., Thanh, V. D., Gumede, N., ... & Woods-Townsend, K. (2019). Initiating a network to support engagement between health researchers and schools: recommendations from an international meeting of schools engagement practitioners held in Kilifi, Kenya. Wellcome Open Research, 4.