Health services researcher Christine Gunn, PhD, is an assistant professor of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. She also serves as the health equity liaison to the Community Outreach and Engagement Program of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
Dr. Gunn’s research program is focused on risk communication, decision-making, and the utilization of evidence-based care. She has conducted a range of studies on how patients and providers negotiate the experience of being at risk for cancer—in particular, breast and prostate cancer—and its impact on the utilization of health services.
She has extensive experience in qualitative research methods, surveys, and mixed methods approaches and has a special interest in studying how health literacy affects health decision-making and behaviors. Gunn has received national attention for documenting how state-level dense breasts notification policies do not meet population literacy needs, and the impact they have on both patients and providers.
The focuses of Dr. Gunn’s current research projects include: designing a tool to promote informed breast cancer screening decisions for women with limited health literacy; understanding and optimizing women’s reactions to dense breast notifications; and improving equity in prostate cancer treatment.
Dr. Gunn comes to Dartmouth from Boston University, where she held dual appointments as an assistant professor in the School of Medicine, Section of General Internal Medicine; and in the School of Public Health, Department of Health Law, Policy and Management.
She holds service positions with several prominent organizations—including as a member of the Association of Community Cancer Center’s Health Literacy and Clear Communication eLearning Advisory Committee, AcademyHealth’s Education Council, and the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention, Screening, and Health Promotion Peer Review Committee. Gunn also serves on the editorial board of Behavioral Medicine.
Dr. Gunn earned Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD in health services research at Boston University.