Dr. Adam is the Director of Health Media Innovation and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford School of Medicine. She creates video-based entertainment-education on topics related to maternal child health, nutrition and disease prevention. She has designed and produced online educational content for the Stanford School of Medicine for use in their preclinical programs, continuing medical education programs and global health promotion efforts. She is the Faculty Lead for the Global Child Health Media Initiative and the creator of eight massive open online courses reaching more than a million learners around the world. Adam is principal investigator on two randomized-controlled trials investigating the impact of digital global health education interventions on health-promoting behaviors. Her research is conducted in collaboration with the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health in Heidelberg, Germany. She is a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Innovation in Global Health and the author of Food, Love, Family: A Practical Guide to Child Nutrition.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Director of Health Media Innovation, Stanford Medicine (2020 - Present)
  • Director, Health Education Outreach, Stanford Center for Health Education (2018 - 2020)
  • Faculty Lead, Digital MEdIC South Africa (2017 - 2020)
  • Founder, Just Cook for Kids (2013 - Present)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Nominated faculty member, Stanford Digital Education Strategy Group (2021 - Present)
  • Faculty Fellow, Center for Innovation in Global Health (2020 - Present)

Community and International Work

  • Digital Medical Education International Collaborative, South Africa


    Maternal Child Health Education

    Partnering Organization(s)

    National Dept. of Health, South Africa, and UNICEF

    Populations Served

    Low- and middle-income mothers in South Africa



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Stanford Health Outreach App, South Africa


    Community Health Promotion

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Philani Maternal and Child Health Clinic

    Populations Served

    Women and children in under-resourced areas



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


Clinical Trials

  • The Philani Mobile Video Intervention for Exclusive Breastfeeding (MOVIE) Study Not Recruiting

    This cluster-randomized controlled trial seeks to evaluate the impact of a mobile video intervention for exclusive breastfeeding (MOVIE) on the infant feeding practices of mothers living in under-resourced communities in the Western Cape, South Africa. The trial will compare infant feeding practices in two groups of participants, enrolled in the Philani Mentor-Mother Outreach Program, a home-visiting program focused on community-based health promotion through peer-to-peer counseling. The participants in the intervention arm will receive the Philani Intervention Model (PIM), a perinatal health promotion intervention, together with the additional mobile, video intervention for exclusive breastfeeding. The participants in the control arm will receive only the standard PIM. Participants will be exposed to either the intervention or the control condition during pregnancy and the first five months after delivery. The central hypothesis in this trial is that, when compared with the control group, infant feeding practices in the intervention group will be significantly better aligned with current World Health Organization recommendations, after exposure to the Philani MOVIE intervention. The primary outcomes in this study are short-term exclusive breastfeeding, in the first month of life, and long-term exclusive breastfeeding, in the fifth month of life, (based on maternal 24-hour recall). Secondary outcomes include other infant feeding practices, such as early initiation of breastfeeding, any breastfeeding in the first month and in the fifth month of life, bottle-feeding, early introduction of complementary foods in the first month and in the fifth month of life and maternal knowledge in the first month and the fifth month post delivery.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

    View full details

2020-21 Courses

All Publications

  • Design preferences for global scale: a mixed-methods study of "glocalization" of an animated, video-based health communication intervention. BMC public health Adam, M., Chase, R. P., McMahon, S. A., Kuhnert, K., Johnston, J., Ward, V., Prober, C., Barnighausen, T. 2021; 21 (1): 1223


    BACKGROUND: Designing health communication interventions for global scaling promotes health literacy and facilitates rapid global health messaging. Limited literature explores preferences for animation prototypes and other content characteristics across participants in different global regions. Prior research underscores an urgent need for health communication interventions that are compelling and accessible across culturally and geographically diverse audiences. This study presents feedback from global learners on animation design preferences and other key considerations for the development of educational video content intended for global adaptation and scaling.METHODS: We used a mixed-methods, sequential explanatory design, with a qualitative descriptive approach to the analysis of the qualitative data. We recruited participants from an international group of learners enrolled in a massive open online course. Through an online quantitative survey (n=330), we sought preferences from participants in 73 countries for animation design prototypes to be used in video-based health communication interventions. To learn more about these preferences, we conducted in-depth interviews (n=20) with participants selected using maximum variation purposive sampling.RESULTS: Generally, respondents were willing to accept animation prototypes that were free of cultural and ethnic identifiers and believed these to be preferable for globally scalable health communication videos. Diverse representations of age, gender roles, and family structure were also preferred and felt to support inclusive messaging across cultures and global regions. Familiar-sounding voiceovers using local languages, dialects, and accents were preferred for enhancing local resonance. Across global regions, narratives were highlighted as a compelling approach to facilitating engagement and participants preferred short videos with no more than two or three health messages.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that global learners may be willing to accept simplified visuals, designed for broad cross-cultural acceptability, especially if the content is localized in other ways, such as through the use of locally resonating narratives and voiceovers. Diverse, inclusive portrayals of age, gender roles and family structure were preferred.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12889-021-11043-w

    View details for PubMedID 34172016

  • Evaluation of a community-based mobile video breastfeeding intervention in Khayelitsha, South Africa: The Philani MOVIE cluster-randomized controlled trial. PLoS medicine Adam, M., Johnston, J., Job, N., Dronavalli, M., Le Roux, I., Mbewu, N., Mkunqwana, N., Tomlinson, M., McMahon, S. A., LeFevre, A. E., Vandormael, A., Kuhnert, K. L., Suri, P., Gates, J., Mabaso, B., Porwal, A., Prober, C., Bärnighausen, T. 2021; 18 (9): e1003744


    In South Africa, breastfeeding promotion is a national health priority. Regular perinatal home visits by community health workers (CHWs) have helped promote exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) in underresourced settings. Innovative, digital approaches including mobile video content have also shown promise, especially as access to mobile technology increases among CHWs. We measured the effects of an animated, mobile video series, the Philani MObile Video Intervention for Exclusive breastfeeding (MOVIE), delivered by a cadre of CHWs ("mentor mothers").We conducted a stratified, cluster-randomized controlled trial from November 2018 to March 2020 in Khayelitsha, South Africa. The trial was conducted in collaboration with the Philani Maternal Child Health and Nutrition Trust, a nongovernmental community health organization. We quantified the effect of the MOVIE intervention on EBF at 1 and 5 months (primary outcomes), and on other infant feeding practices and maternal knowledge (secondary outcomes). We randomized 1,502 pregnant women in 84 clusters 1:1 to 2 study arms. Participants' median age was 26 years, 36.9% had completed secondary school, and 18.3% were employed. Mentor mothers in the video intervention arm provided standard-of-care counseling plus the MOVIE intervention; mentor mothers in the control arm provided standard of care only. Within the causal impact evaluation, we nested a mixed-methods performance evaluation measuring mentor mothers' time use and eliciting their subjective experiences through in-depth interviews. At both points of follow-up, we observed no statistically significant differences between the video intervention and the control arm with regard to EBF rates and other infant feeding practices [EBF in the last 24 hours at 1 month: RR 0.93 (95% CI 0.86 to 1.01, P = 0.091); EBF in the last 24 hours at 5 months: RR 0.90 (95% CI 0.77 to 1.04, P = 0.152)]. We observed a small, but significant improvement in maternal knowledge at the 1-month follow-up, but not at the 5-month follow-up. The interpretation of the results from this causal impact evaluation changes when we consider the results of the nested mixed-methods performance evaluation. The mean time spent per home visit was similar across study arms, but the intervention group spent approximately 40% of their visit time viewing videos. The absence of difference in effects on primary and secondary endpoints implies that, for the same time investment, the video intervention was as effective as face-to-face counseling with a mentor mother. The videos were also highly valued by mentor mothers and participants. Study limitations include a high loss to follow-up at 5 months after premature termination of the trial due to the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in mentor mother service demarcations.This trial measured the effect of a video-based, mobile health (mHealth) intervention, delivered by CHWs during home visits in an underresourced setting. The videos replaced about two-fifths of CHWs' direct engagement time with participants in the intervention arm. The similar outcomes in the 2 study arms thus suggest that the videos were as effective as face-to-face counselling, when CHWs used them to replace a portion of that counselling. Where CHWs are scarce, mHealth video interventions could be a feasible and practical solution, supporting the delivery and scaling of community health promotion services.The study and its outcomes were registered at (#NCT03688217) on September 27, 2018.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003744

    View details for PubMedID 34582438

  • Design for extreme scalability: A wordless, globally scalable COVID-19 prevention animation for rapid public health communication. Journal of global health Adam, M. n., Bärnighausen, T. n., McMahon, S. A. 2020; 10 (1): 010343

    View details for DOI 10.7189/jogh.10.010343

    View details for PubMedID 32411360

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7183247

  • The Philani MOVIE study: a cluster-randomized controlled trial of a mobile video entertainment-education intervention to promote exclusive breastfeeding in South Africa. BMC health services research Adam, M., Tomlinson, M., Le Roux, I., LeFevre, A. E., McMahon, S. A., Johnston, J., Kirton, A., Mbewu, N., Strydom, S., Prober, C., Barnighausen, T. 2019; 19 (1): 211


    BACKGROUND: In South Africa, rates of exclusive breastfeeding remain low and breastfeeding promotion is a national health priority. Mobile health and narrative entertainment-education are recognized strategies for health promotion. In-home counseling by community health workers (CHWs) is a proven breastfeeding promotion strategy. This protocol outlines a cluster-randomized controlled trial with a nested mixed-methods evaluation of the MObile Video Intervention for Exclusive breastfeeding (MOVIE) program. The evaluation will quantify the causal effect of the MOVIE program and generate a detailed understanding of the context in which the intervention took place and the mechanisms through which it enacted change. Findings from the study will inform the anticipated scale-up of mobile video health interventions in South Africa and the wider sub-Saharan region.METHODS: We will conduct a stratified cluster-randomized controlled trial in urban communities of the Western Cape, to measure the effect of the MOVIE intervention on exclusive breastfeeding and other infant feeding practices. Eighty-four mentor-mothers (CHWs employed by the Philani Maternal Child Health and Nutrition Trust) will be randomized 1:1 into intervention and control arms, stratified by neighborhood type. Mentor-mothers in the control arm will provide standard of care (SoC) perinatal in-home counseling. Mentor-mothers in the intervention arm will provide SoC plus the MOVIE intervention. At least 1008 pregnant participants will be enrolled in the study and mother-child pairs will be followed until 5months post-delivery. The primary outcomes of the study are exclusive breastfeeding at 1 and 5months of age. Secondary outcomes are other infant feeding practices and maternal knowledge. In order to capture human-centered underpinnings of the intervention, we will conduct interviews with stakeholders engaged in the intervention design. To contextualize quantitative findings and understand the mechanisms through which the intervention enacted change, end-line focus groups with mentor-mothers will be conducted.DISCUSSION: This trial will be among the first to explore a video-based, entertainment-education intervention delivered by CHWs and created using a community-based, human-centered design approach. As such, it could inform health policy, with regards to both the routine adoption of this intervention and, more broadly, the development of other entertainment-education interventions for health promotion in under-resourced settings.TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study and its outcomes were registered at ( #NCT03688217 ) on September 27th, 2018.

    View details for PubMedID 30940132

  • Human-Centered Design of Video-Based Health Education: An Iterative, Collaborative, Community-Based Approach. Journal of medical Internet research Adam, M., McMahon, S. A., Prober, C., Barnighausen, T. 2019; 21 (1): e12128


    Drawing on 5 years of experience designing, producing, and disseminating video health education programs globally, we outline the process of creating accessible, engaging, and relevant video health education content using a community-based, human-centered design approach. We show that this approach can yield a new generation of interventions, which are better aligned with the needs and contexts of target communities. The participation of target communities and local stakeholders in the content production and design process fosters ownership of the content and increases the likelihood that the resulting intervention will resonate within its intended primary audience and be disseminated broadly. Ease of future adaptation for additional global audiences and modification of the content for multiple dissemination pathways are important early considerations to ensure scalability and long-term impact of the intervention. Recent advances in mobile technology can facilitate the dissemination of accessible, engaging health education at scale, thereby enhancing the potential impact of video-based educational tools. Accessible and engaging health education is a cornerstone of health behavior change. Especially in low- and middle-income countries, increasing access to effective health education can contribute to improved health outcomes. Prior research has identified several characteristics of effective health education interventions. These include the integration of pictures, narratives, and entertainment-education, in which the health messages that make up the educational content are embedded. However, the effectiveness and long-term impact of health messages ultimately depend on how well the end users can identify with the content that is presented. This identification, in turn, is a function of how well the messages correspond to user needs and wants and how this correspondence is communicated through the design characteristics of the health education intervention.

    View details for PubMedID 30698531

  • Community health workers' experiences of using video teaching tools during home visitsA pilot study HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY Coetzee, B., Kohrman, H., Tomlinson, M., Mbewu, N., Le Roux, I., Adam, M. 2018; 26 (2): 167–75


    Innovations in health, such as the use of tablet computers, show promise in broadening the scope of work of community health workers (CHWs), and play an important role in keeping CHWs and their clients up to date with advancements in health. While the use of mobile phones and tablets is innovative, the applicability of these technologies in different contexts remains poorly understood. Furthermore, little is known about the acceptability and feasibility of the use of video teaching tools on such devices across diverse contexts. In this study, we aimed to explore the acceptability and feasibility of using tablets with teaching videos (about HIV, alcohol, nutrition and breastfeeding) to support the health promotion efforts of 24 CHWs who work with pregnant mothers and mothers of young children in an urban township in South Africa. Between November 2015 and May 2016, we conducted focus groups and identified four key themes (with several sub-themes) that demonstrated factors related to the acceptability and feasibility of these devices and their content. Focus group transcripts were analysed thematically using qualitative data analysis software. The findings indicated that while the devices contained several supportive features (such as lightening the workload, and stimulating interest in their work), they also contained several restrictive features (safety and confidentiality). CHWs considered the video content an important tool to engage not only their clients but also family members and the community at large. Issues surrounding safety, privacy and confidentiality of using these devices require careful consideration prior to implementation in large-scale studies. Furthermore, stigma associated with household visits by CHWs and the nature of their work also need to be addressed by researchers and programme implementers. Overall, CHWs deemed the devices and the video content an acceptable and feasible means with which to provide health promotion and education among their clients.

    View details for PubMedID 28872210

  • The Use of Short, Animated, Patient-Centered Springboard Videos to Underscore the Clinical Relevance of Preclinical Medical Student Education. Academic medicine Adam, M., Chen, S. F., Amieva, M., Deitz, J., Jang, H., Porwal, A., Prober, C. 2017


    Medical students often struggle to appreciate the clinical relevance of material taught in the preclinical years. The authors believe videos could be effectively used to interweave a patient's illness script with foundational basic science concepts.In collaboration with four other U.S. medical schools, educators at the Stanford University School of Medicine created 36 short, animated, patient-centered springboard videos (third-person, narrated accounts of authentic patient cases conveying foundational pathophysiology) in 2014. The videos were used to introduce students to 36 content modules, created as part of a microbiology, immunology, and infectious diseases curriculum. The videos were created with input from faculty content experts and in some cases medical students, and were piloted using a flipped classroom pedagogical approach in January 2015-June 2016.Student feedback from course evaluations and focus groups was analyzed using a mixed-methods approach. On the course evaluations, the majority of students rated the patient-centered videos positively, and the majority of comments on the videos were positive, highlighting both enhanced engagement and enhanced learning and retention. Comments from focus groups mirrored the course evaluation comments and highlighted different usage patterns for the videos.The authors will continue to gather and analyze data from schools using the videos as part of their core preclinical curriculum, and will produce similar videos for use in other areas of undergraduate medical education. These videos could support students' review of content taught previously and be repurposed for use in continuing and graduate medical education, as well as patient education.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001574

    View details for PubMedID 28121656

  • Massive open online nutrition and cooking course for improved eating behaviors and meal composition. international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity Adam, M., Young-Wolff, K. C., Konar, E., Winkleby, M. 2015; 12 (1): 143-?

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12966-015-0305-2

    View details for PubMedID 26630879

  • Effect of a wordless, animated, social media video intervention on COVID-19 prevention: an online randomized controlled trial of 15,163 adults in the USA, Mexico, UK, Germany, and Spain. JMIR public health and surveillance Vandormael, A., Adam, M., Greuel, M., Gates, J., Favaretti, C., Hachaturyan, V., Barnighausen, T. 2021


    BACKGROUND: Innovative approaches to the dissemination of evidence-based COVID-19 health messages are urgently needed to counter social media misinformation about the pandemic. To this end, we designed a short, wordless, animated, global health communication video (CoVideo) that was rapidly distributed through social media channels to an international audience.OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study were to: 1) establish the CoVideo's effectiveness in improving COVID-19 prevention knowledge, and 2) establish the CoVideo's effectiveness in increasing behavioral intent toward COVID-19 prevention.METHODS: In May and June 2020, we enrolled 15,163 online participants from the United States of America, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain. We randomized participants to (i) the CoVideo arm, (ii) an attention placebo control (APC) arm, and (iii) a do-nothing arm, and presented 18 knowledge questions about preventive COVID-19 behaviors, which was our first primary endpoint. To measure behavioral intent, our second primary endpoint, we randomized participants in each arm to five list experiments.RESULTS: Globally, the video intervention was viewed 1.2 million times within the first 10 days of its release and more than 15 million times within the first four months. Knowledge in the CoVideo arm was significantly higher (mean = 16.95; 95% CI: 16.91, 16.99) than in the do-nothing (mean = 16.86; 95% CI: 16.83, 16.90; p < 0.001) arm. We observed high baseline levels of behavioral intent to perform many of the preventive behaviors featured in the video intervention. We were only able to detect a statistically significant impact of the CoVideo on one of the five preventive behaviors.CONCLUSIONS: Despite high baseline levels, the intervention was effective at boosting knowledge of COVID-19 prevention. We were only able to capture a measurable change in behavioral intent towards one of the five COVID-19 preventive behaviors examined in this study. The global reach of this health communication intervention and the high voluntary engagement of trial participants highlight several innovative features that could inform the design and dissemination of public health messages. Short, wordless, animated videos, distributed by health authorities via social media, may be an effective pathway for rapid global health communication during health crises.CLINICALTRIAL: The study and its outcomes were registered at the German Clinical Trials Register ( on May 12th, 2020: #DRKS00021582.

    View details for DOI 10.2196/29060

    View details for PubMedID 34174778

  • How can human-centered design build a story-based video intervention that addresses vaccine hesitancy and bolsters vaccine confidence in the Philippines? A mixedmethod protocol for project SALUBONG. BMJ open Renosa, M. D., Wachinger, J., Barnighausen, K., Aligato, M. F., Landicho-Guevarra, J., Endoma, V., Landicho, J., Bravo, T. A., Demonteverde, M. P., Guevarra, J. R., de Claro Iii, N., Inobaya, M., Adam, M., Chase, R. P., McMahon, S. A. 2021; 11 (6): e046814


    INTRODUCTION: Since the onset of a dengue vaccine controversy in late 2017, vaccine confidence has plummeted in the Philippines, leading to measles and polio outbreaks in early 2019. This protocol outlines a human-centered design (HCD) approach to co-create and test an intervention that addresses vaccine hesitancy (VH) via narrative and empathy with and among families and healthcare workers. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: 'Salubong' is a Filipino term that means to welcome someone back into one's life, reinforcing notions of family ties and friendships. We apply this sentiment to vaccines. Following the phases of HCD, guided by a theoretical framework, and drawing from locally held understandings of faith and acceptance, we will conduct in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs) in rural and urban Filipino communities that witnessed dramatic increases in measles cases in recent years. During qualitative engagements with caretakers, providers, and policymakers, we will collect narratives about family and community perceptions of childhood vaccinations, public health systems and opportunities to restore faith. IDIs and FGDs will continuously inform the development of (and delivery mechanisms for) story-based interventions. Once developed, we will test our co-created interventions among 800 caretakers and administer a VH questionnaire prior to and immediately following the intervention encounter. We will use the feedback gained through the survey and Kano-style questionnaires to further refine the intervention. Considering the data collection challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have developed workarounds to conduct data collection primarily online. We will use systematic online debriefings to facilitate comprehensive participation of the full research team.ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval has been granted by the Institutional Review Board of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (number 2019-44) and Ethical Commission of Heidelberg University, Faculty of Medicine (S-833/2019). Study findings will be disseminated in scientific conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046814

    View details for PubMedID 34108166

  • Effect of a story-based, animated video to reduce added sugar consumption: A web-based randomized controlled trial. Journal of global health Vandormael, A., Hachaturyan, V., Adam, M., Favaretti, C., Gates, J., Barnighausen, T. 2021; 11: 04064


    Background: Short and animated story-based (SAS) videos, which can be rapidly distributed through social media channels, are a novel and promising strategy for promoting health behaviors. In this study, we evaluate the effectiveness of a SAS video intervention to reduce the consumption of added sugars.Methods: In December 2020, we randomized 4159 English-speaking participants from the United Kingdom (1:1:1) to a sugar intervention video, a content placebo video about sunscreen use (no sugar message), or a placebo video about earthquakes (no health or sugar message). We nested six list experiments in each arm and randomized participants (1:1) to a control list or a control list plus an item about consuming added sugars. The primary end-points were mean differences (on a scale of 0-100) in behavioral intent and direct restoration of freedom to consume added sugars.Results: Participants (N=4013) who watched the sugar video had significantly higher behavioral intent to cut their daily intake of added sugar (mean difference (md)=16.7, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.5-31.8, P=0.031), eat fresh fruit daily (md=16.7, 95% CI=0.5-32.9, P=0.043), and check food labels for sugar content (md=20.5, 95% CI=2.6-38.5, P=0.025) when compared with the sunscreen (content placebo) video. The sugar video did not arouse intent to restore freedom and consume added sugars when compared with the two placebo videos.Conclusions: Our SAS intervention video did not arouse reactance and increased short-term behavioral intent among participants to reduce their consumption of added sugars. SAS videos, which draw on best practices from the entertainment-education media, communication theory, and the animation industry, can be an effective strategy for delivering emotionally compelling narratives to promote health behavior change.Trial registration: German Clinical Trials Register: DRKS00022340.

    View details for DOI 10.7189/jogh.11.04064

    View details for PubMedID 34737864

  • Reactance to Social Authority in Entertainment-Education Media: Protocol for a Web-Based Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR research protocols Vandormael, A., Adam, M., Hachaturyan, V., Greuel, M., Favaretti, C., Gates, J., Baernighausen, T. 2021; 10 (5): e25343


    Entertainment-education media can be an effective strategy for influencing health behaviors. To improve entertainment-education effectiveness, we seek to investigate whether the social authority of a person delivering a health message arouses the motivation to reject that message-a phenomenon known as reactance.In this study, using a short animated video, we aim to measure reactance to a sugar reduction message narrated by a child (low social authority), the child's mother (equivalent social authority to the target audience), and a family physician (high social authority). The aims of the study are to determine the effect of the narrator's perceived social authority on reactance to the sugar reduction message, establish the effectiveness of the video in improving behavioral intent to reduce the intake of added sugars, and quantify participants' interest in watching the entertainment-education intervention video.This is a parallel group, randomized controlled trial comparing an intervention video narrated by a low, equivalent, or high social authority against a content placebo video and a placebo video. Using a web-based recruitment platform, we plan to enroll 4000 participants aged between 18 and 59 years who speak English and reside in the United Kingdom. The primary end points will include measures of the antecedents to reactance (proneness to reactance and threat level of the message), its components (anger and negative cognition), and attitudinal and behavioral intent toward sugar intake. We will measure behavioral intent using list experiments. Participants randomized to the placebo videos will be given a choice to watch one of the sugar-intervention videos at the end of the study to assess participant engagement with the entertainment-education video.The study was approved by the ethics committee of Heidelberg University on March 18, 2020 (S-088/2020). Participant recruitment and data collection were completed in December 2020. The data analysis was completed in April 2021, and the final results are planned to be published by August 2021.In this trial, we will use several randomization procedures, list experimentation methods, and new web-based technologies to investigate the effect of perceived social authority on reactance to a message about reducing sugar intake. Our results will inform the design of future entertainment-education videos for public health promotion needs.German Clinical Trials Registry DRKS00022340:

    View details for DOI 10.2196/25343

    View details for PubMedID 34047702

  • The First, Comprehensive, Open-Source Culinary Medicine Curriculum for Health Professional Training Programs: A Global Reach AMERICAN JOURNAL OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE Hauser, M. E., Nordgren, J. R., Adam, M., Gardner, C. D., Rydel, T., Bever, A. M., Steinberg, E. 2020; 14 (4): 369–73
  • Iterative Adaptation of a Mobile Nutrition Video-Based Intervention Across Countries Using Human-Centered Design: Qualitative Study (vol 7, e13604, 2019) JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH Isler, J., Sawadogo, N., Harling, G., Baernighausen, T., Adam, M., Kagone, M., Sie, A., Greuel, M., McMahon, S. A. 2020; 8 (1)

    View details for DOI 10.2196/17666

    View details for Web of Science ID 000509538100001

  • Correction: Iterative Adaptation of a Mobile Nutrition Video-Based Intervention Across Countries Using Human-Centered Design: Qualitative Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth Isler, J. n., Sawadogo, N. H., Harling, G. n., Bärnighausen, T. n., Adam, M. n., Kagoné, M. n., Sié, A. n., Greuel, M. n., McMahon, S. A. 2020; 8 (1): e17666

    View details for DOI 10.2196/17666

    View details for PubMedID 32012112

  • A short, animated video to improve good COVID-19 hygiene practices: a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials Vandormael, A. n., Adam, M. n., Greuel, M. n., Bärnighausen, T. n. 2020; 21 (1): 469


    Entertainment-education (E-E) media can improve behavioral intent toward health-related practices. In the era of COVID-19, millions of people can be reached by E-E media without requiring any physical contact. We have designed a short, wordless, animated video about COVID-19 hygiene practices-such as social distancing and frequent hand washing-that can be rapidly distributed through social media channels to a global audience. The E-E video's effectiveness, however, remains unclear. The study aims to achieve the following objectives. To: 1.Quantify people's interest in watching a short, animated video about COVID-19 hygiene (abbreviated to CoVideo).2.Establish the CoVideo's effectiveness in increasing behavioural intent toward COVID-19 hygiene.3.Establish the CoVideo's effectiveness in improving COVID-19 hygiene knowledge.The present study is a multi-site, parallel group, randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing the effectiveness of the CoVideo against an attention placebo control (APC) video or no video. The trial has an intervention arm (CoVideo), placebo arm (APC), and control arm (no video). Nested in each trial arm is a list experiment and questionnaire survey, with the following ordering. Arm 1: the CoVideo, list experiment, and questionnaire survey. Arm 2: the APC video, list experiment, questionnaire survey, and CoVideo. Arm 3: the list experiment, questionnaire survey, and CoVideo. For each list experiment, participants will be randomized to a control or treatment group. The control group will receive a list of five items and the treatment group will receive the same five items plus one item about COVID-19 hygiene. We will use the list experiment to reduce response bias associated with socially desirable answers to COVID-19 questions. The questionnaire survey will include items about the participant's age, sex, country of residence, highest education, and knowledge of COVID-19 spread. After completing the list experiment and questionnaire survey, participants in Arms 2 and 3 will receive the CoVideo to ensure post-trial access to treatment.This will be an online study setting. We will use Prolific Academic (ProA: to recruit participants and host our study on the Gorilla™ platform ( To be eligible, participants must be between the age of 18 and 59 years (male, female, or other) and have current residence in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Mexico, or France. Participants will be excluded from the study if they cannot speak English, German, French, or Spanish (since the instructions and survey questions will be available in these 4 languages only).The intervention is an E-E video about COVID-19 hygiene (CoVideo). Developed by our co-author (MA) for Stanford Medicine, the CoVideo is animated with sound effects, and has no words, speech, or text. The CoVideo shows how the novel coronavirus is spread (airborne, physical contact) and summarizes the public's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Key components of the CoVideo are the promotion of five hygiene practices: i) social distancing and avoiding group gatherings, ii) frequently washing hands with soap and water or sanitizer, iii) cleaning surfaces at home (e.g., kitchen counters), iv) not sharing eating utensils, and v) avoidance of stockpiling essential goods (such as toilet paper and face masks). The CoVideo, which was designed for universal reach and optimized for release on social media channels, can be viewed at The comparators are an APC video (Arm 2) or no video (Arm 3). The APC video is similar in style to the CoVideo; it is also animated with a duration of 2.30 minutes, has sound effects but no words, speech, or text. The video message is about how small choices become actions, which become habits, which become a way of life. It is available at Each list experiment will have a control list as the comparator. The control list is needed to measure the prevalence of behavioral intent toward COVID-19 hygiene.This study will measure primary and secondary outcomes related to COVID-19 hygiene. By hygiene, we mean the adoption of behaviors or practices that reduce the chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19. As our primary outcome, we will measure changes in behavioral intent toward five hygiene practices: social distancing, washing hands, cleaning household surfaces, not sharing eating utensils, and not stockpiling essential goods. As a secondary outcome, we will measure knowledge about behaviors that can prevent the spread of COVID-19.Using a web-based randomization algorithm, Gorilla will randomly allocate participants to the intervention (CoVideo), placebo (APC), or control (no video) arm (sequence generation) at a 1:1:1 ratio. Within each trial arm, Gorilla will randomly allocate participants at a 1:1 ratio to the control or treatment group. Items in the lists will be randomly ordered to avoid order effects. The presentation order of the list experiments will also be randomized.Because ProA handles the interaction between the study investigators and participants, the participants will be completely anonymous to the study investigators. The outcome measures will be self-reported and submitted anonymously. All persons in the study team will be blinded to the group allocation.The Gorilla algorithm will randomize 6,700 participants to each trial arm, giving a total sample size of 20,100.The protocol version number is 1.0 and the date is 18 May 2020. Recruitment is expected to end by 22 June 2020. Thus far, the study investigators have recruited 2,500 participants on ProA. Of these participants, 800 have completed the study on the Gorilla platform.The study and its outcomes were registered at the German Clinical Trials Register ( on May 12th, 2020, protocol number: #DRKS00021582. The study was registered before any data was collected.The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s13063-020-04449-1

    View details for PubMedID 32493460

  • An entertainment-education approach to prevent COVID-19 spread: study protocol for a multi-site randomized controlled trial. Trials Vandormael, A. n., Adam, M. n., Greuel, M. n., Bärnighausen, T. n. 2020; 21 (1): 1025


    Entertainment-education (E-E) media can improve behavioral intent toward health-related practices. In the era of COVID-19, millions of people can be reached by E-E media without requiring any physical contact. We have designed a short, wordless, animated video about preventive COVID-19 behaviors that can be rapidly distributed through social media channels to a global audience. The E-E video's effectiveness, however, remains unclear.This is a multi-site, parallel group, randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of an E-E video on COVID-19 against (i) an attention placebo control (APC) video and (ii) no video. For our primary outcomes, we will measure knowledge about preventive COVID-19 behaviors. We will also use a list randomization approach to measure behavioral intent toward preventative COVID-19 behaviors. In each trial arm, participants will be randomized to a control list or a control list plus an item about social distancing, washing hands, cleaning household surfaces, sharing of eating utensils, and the stockpiling of essential goods. Using an online platform, we will recruit 17,010 participants (aged 18-59 years) from the USA, the UK, Germany, Spain, France, and Mexico.German Clinical Trials Register #DRKS00021582 . Registered on May 12, 2020.This trial will utilize several randomization procedures, list experimentation methods, and state-of-the-art online technology to demonstrate the effectiveness of an E-E video to improve knowledge of, and behavioral intent toward, the prevention of COVID-19. Our results will inform future E-E video campaigns for COVID-19 and similar public health intervention needs.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s13063-020-04942-7

    View details for PubMedID 33323130

  • 'If he sees it with his own eyes, he will understand': how gender informed the content and delivery of a maternal nutrition intervention in Burkina Faso. Health policy and planning Isler, J. n., Sawadogo, N. H., Harling, G. n., Bärnighausen, T. n., Adam, M. n., Sié, A. n., McMahon, S. A. 2020


    A growing body of literature urges policymakers, practitioners and scientists to consider gender in the design and evaluation of health interventions. We report findings from formative research to develop and refine an mHealth maternal nutrition intervention in Nouna, Burkina Faso, one of the world's most resource-poor settings. Gender was not an initial research focus, but emerged as highly salient during data collection, and thus guided lines of inquiry as the study progressed. We collected data in two stages, first using focus group discussions (FGD; n = 8) and later using FGDs (n = 2), interviews (n = 30) and observations of intervention delivery (n = 30). Respondents included pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and Close-to-Community (CTC) providers, who execute preventative and curative tasks at the community level. We applied Morgan et al.'s gender framework to examine intervention content (what a gender-sensitive nutrition programme should entail) and delivery (how a gender-sensitive programme should be administered). Mothers emphasized that although they are often the focus of nutrition interventions, they are not empowered to make nutrition-based decisions that incur costs. They do, however, wield some control over nutrition-related tasks such as farming and cooking. Mothers described how difficult it is to consider only one's own children during meal preparation (which is communal), and all respondents described how nutrition-related requests can spark marital strife. Many respondents agreed that involving men in nutrition interventions is vital, despite men's perceived disinterest. CTC providers and others described how social norms and gender roles underpin perceptions of CTC providers and dictate with whom they can speak within homes. Mothers often prefer female CTC providers, but these health workers require spousal permission to work and need to balance professional and domestic demands. We recommend involving male partners in maternal nutrition interventions and engaging and supporting a broader cadre of female CTC providers in Burkina Faso.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/heapol/czaa012

    View details for PubMedID 32106288

  • The First, Comprehensive, Open-Source Culinary Medicine Curriculum for Health Professional Training Programs: A Global Reach. American journal of lifestyle medicine Hauser, M. E., Nordgren, J. R., Adam, M. n., Gardner, C. D., Rydel, T. n., Bever, A. M., Steinberg, E. n. 2020; 14 (4): 369–73


    Providing a strong foundation in culinary medicine (CM)-including what constitutes a healthy diet and how to find, obtain, and prepare healthy and delicious food-is a cornerstone of educating health professionals to support patients in achieving better health outcomes. The Culinary Medicine Curriculum (CMC), published in collaboration with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, is the first, comprehensive, open-source guide created to support the implementation of CM at health professional training programs (HPTPs) worldwide. The CMC is modeled after the successful CM elective course for Stanford University School of Medicine students. Key goals of the CMC include presenting healthy food as unapologetically delicious, quick, and inexpensive; translating lessons learned to healthy eating on-the-go; practicing motivational interviewing on healthy dietary behavior changes; and demonstrating how to launch a CM course. The CMC highlights a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet as seen through the lenses of different world flavors and culinary traditions. It was developed, published, and distributed with the aim of expanding CM by reducing barriers to creating CM courses within most types of HPTPs and practice settings. During the first 2 months the CMC was available, it was downloaded 2379 times in 83 countries by a wide variety of health care professionals interested in teaching CM. The global interest in this first, freely available, evidence-based CMC underscores the demand for CM resources. Such resources could prove foundational in expediting development of CM courses and expanding the reach of CM and counseling on dietary behavior changes into patient care.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1559827620916699

    View details for PubMedID 33281516

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7692007

  • Iterative Adaptation of a Maternal Nutrition Videos mHealth Intervention Across Countries Using Human-Centered Design: Qualitative Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth Isler, J., Sawadogo, N. H., Harling, G., Barnighausen, T., Adam, M., Kagone, M., Sie, A., Greuel, M., McMahon, S. A. 2019; 7 (11): e13604


    BACKGROUND: Mobile health (mHealth) video interventions are often transferred across settings. Although the outcomes of these transferred interventions are frequently published, the process of adapting such videos is less described, particularly within and across lower-income contexts. This study fills a gap in the literature by outlining experiences and priorities adapting a suite of South African maternal nutrition videos to the context of rural Burkina Faso.OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the key components in adapting a suite of maternal nutrition mHealth videos across settings.METHODS: Guided by the principles of human-centered design, this qualitative study included 10 focus group discussions, 30 in-depth interviews, and 30 observations. We first used focus group discussions to capture insights on local nutrition and impressions of the original (South African) videos. After making rapid adjustments based on these focus group discussions, we used additional methods (focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, and observations) to identify challenges, essential video refinements, and preferences in terms of content delivery. All data were collected in French or Dioula, recorded, transcribed, and translated as necessary into French before being thematically coded by two authors.RESULTS: We propose a 3-pronged Video Adaptation Framework that places the aim of video adaptation at the center of a triangle framed by end recipients, health workers, and the environment. End recipients (here, pregnant or lactating mothers) directed us to (1) align the appearance, priorities, and practices of the video's protagonist to those of Burkinabe women; (2) be mindful of local realities whether economic, health-related, or educational; and (3) identify and routinely reiterate key points throughout videos and via reminder cards. Health workers (here, Community Health Workers and Mentor Mothers delivering the videos) guided us to (1) improve technology training, (2) simplify language and images, and (3) increase the frequency of their engagements with end recipients. In terms of the environment, respondents guided us to localize climate, vegetation, diction, and how foods are depicted.CONCLUSIONS: Design research provided valuable insights in terms of developing a framework for video adaptation across settings, which other interventionists and scholars can use to guide adaptations of similar interventions.

    View details for DOI 10.2196/13604

    View details for PubMedID 31710302

  • A Multi-Institution Collaboration to Define Core Content and Design Flexible Curricular Components for a Foundational Medical School Course: Implications for National Curriculum Reform ACADEMIC MEDICINE Chen, S. F., Deitz, J., Batten, J. N., DeCoste-Lopez, J., Adam, M., Alspaugh, J., Amieva, M. R., Becker, P., Boslett, B., Carline, J., Chin-Hong, P., Engle, D. L., Hayward, K. N., Nevins, A., Porwal, A., Pottinger, P. S., Schwartz, B. S., Smith, S., Sow, M., Teherani, A., Prober, C. G. 2019; 94 (6): 819–25
  • A Multi-Institution Collaboration to Define Core Content and Design Flexible Curricular Components for a Foundational Medical School Course: Implications for National Curriculum Reform. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges Chen, S. F., Deitz, J., Batten, J. N., DeCoste-Lopez, J., Adam, M., Alspaugh, J. A., Amieva, M. R., Becker, P., Boslett, B., Carline, J., Chin-Hong, P., Engle, D. L., Hayward, K. N., Nevins, A., Porwal, A., Pottinger, P. S., Schwartz, B. S., Smith, S., Sow, M., Teherani, A., Prober, C. G. 2019


    Medical educators have not reached widespread agreement on core content for a U.S. medical school curriculum. As a first step toward addressing this, five U.S. medical schools formed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Reimagining Medical Education collaborative to define, create, implement, and freely share core content for a foundational medical school course on microbiology and immunology. This proof-of-concept project involved delivery of core content to preclinical medical students through online videos and class time interactions between students and facilitators. A flexible, modular design allowed four of the medical schools to successfully implement the content modules in diverse curricular settings. Compared to the prior year, student satisfaction ratings after implementation were comparable or showed a statistically significant improvement. Students who took this course at a time point in their training similar to when the USMLE Step 1 reference group took Step 1 earned equivalent scores on National Board of Medical Examiners-Customized Assessment Services microbiology exam items. Exam scores for three schools ranged from 0.82 to 0.84, compared to 0.81 for the national reference group; exam scores were 0.70 at the fourth school, where students took the exam in their first quarter, two years earlier than the reference group. This project demonstrates that core content for a foundational medical school course can be defined, created, and used by multiple medical schools without compromising student satisfaction or knowledge. This project offers one approach to collaboratively defining core content and designing curricular resources for preclinical medical school education that can be shared.

    View details for PubMedID 30801270