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RTI Fellow Awarded Grant to Study Disempowering Terminology in Online Patient Education Materials for People With Type 1 Diabetes

This spring, Lisa Acuff, AHIP, in collaboration with three other information professionals, two from the University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center, and one from the University of Kansas Libraries, were awarded MLA's Research, Development, and Demonstration Project Grant. Lisa applied for the grant to support her Research Training Institute (RTI) project which began during her year at the institute. 

Her team's ongoing research aims to determine the frequency and context of disempowering language in online patient education materials for people living with type 1 diabetes using summative content analysis. Summative content analysis include two parts:

  1. Phase 1 – frequencies (manifest content analysis)
  2. Phase 2 – context (latent content analysis)

They are relying on technology to support the data collection and analysis for each phase. Thus, she intends to spend our award funds on qualitative research software for Phase 2.

If you would like to learn more about summative content analysis, you might enjoy an article published in Qualitative Health Research (see reference below). To learn more about their research, please visit our Open Science Framework project site. The research team welcomes your comments and ideas!


  • Acuff L, Geiger Wolfe G, Bowler-Hill S. Disempowering Language in Online Patient Education Materials for People With Type 1 Diabetes: A Summative Content Analysis 2023. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/WQH35.
  • Hsieh HF, Shannon SE. Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qual Health Res. 2005 Nov;15(9):1277-88. doi: 10.1177/1049732305276687. PMID: 16204405.

Acuff, AHIP, is a fellow of the 2022 MLA Research Training Institute (RTI), and this project is the focus of her research. The RTI project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (RE-246568-OLS-20).

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