Michael Stellefson, Ph.D.

Courtesy Faculty Appointment
Department of Health Education & Behavior

  • Ph.D. in Health Education, Texas A&M University (2008)
  • M.S. in Health Education,Texas A&M University(2005)
  • B.S. in Psychology, University of Pittsburgh (2004)

Stellefson CV

Contact Info

FLG 23
P.O. Box 118210
Gainesville, FL 32611-8210
(352) 294-1805 | mstellefson@hhp.ufl.edu


Dr. Stellefson joined the faculty in the Department of Health Education and Behavior (HEB) at the University of Florida (UF) in 2010. As an academic health educator, his research focuses on developing and evaluating patient-centered technology to improve patient self-management in chronic disease. His current focus addresses Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a progressive respiratory condition primarily caused by smoking tobacco, which currently ranks as the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. Using multiple research methods (e.g., web-based interventions and surveys, technology usability testing, systematic reviews, media content analyses, qualitative interviews), his two primary goals of research aim to: (1) develop, deliver, and evaluate web-based educational tools for COPD self-management; and (2) measure, understand, and promote eHealth literacy in COPD. Dr. Stellefson has published some 58 manuscripts, with many as lead author, in a number of high impact scientific journals including the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Chronic Respiratory Disease, Telemedicine and e-Health, and Preventing Chronic Disease; and in substantive areas, including: COPD self-management, translational health communication in chronic disease management, and eHealth literacy assessment. He also has delivered over 100 professional presentations.

Dr. Stellefson has received several grant awards to create “COPDFlix,” a novel low-computer-literate social media website for patients, informal caregivers, and clinicians to collaborate and share patient education videos on self-management topics (e.g. smoking cessation, exercise, medication use).  An initial COPDFlix prototype was validated though heuristic evaluation by a panel of healthcare communication experts.  Subsequent computer-based usability testing with medically under-served COPD patients from the UF HealthStreet Community Engagement and Research Program, confirmed that COPDFlix is easy-to-use and highly relevant to patient self-management needs.  For this work, he received the 2016 Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) Technology Award, which recognizes individuals or groups who make exceptional contributions to transforming health education through innovative technology.  Dr. Stellefson also received funding, as a UF Clinical and Translational Sciences KL2 Multidisciplinary Scholar, to investigate how patients living with COPD find, understand, appraise, and apply web-based health information to make health decisions.  He is currently a Sponsor and an Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) award (NIH/NHLBI) that supports one of his PhD students to develop and validate an instrument that measures interactive eHealth literacy among COPD patients living in North Central Florida.

Dr. Stellefson also holds membership in several leading professional organizations including SOPHE. His editorial appointments include serving as a peer reviewer for some 15 professional journals, and he is currently a member of the Editorial Board for the American Journal of Health Education (AJHE). In recognition of his expertise, he was appointed Guest Editor for a special issue of AJHE titled “Using Information and Communication Technologies to Promote Health and Manage Behavioral Risk Factors Associated with Chronic Disease”.

Highly regarded as an emerging young leader in health education, Dr. Stellefson has received a number of honors and recognitions. In 2011, the American Association for Health Education honored him with the Horizon Award, which recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding potential to achieve professional prominence in health education. One of his first-author manuscripts, “Web 2.0 Chronic Disease Self-Management for Older Adults: A Systematic Review”, was selected as the 2013 RE-AIM Review Manuscript of the Year by the Translational Obesity Research Program at Virginia Tech. He has also received Faculty Research and Leadership Awards in HEB. In 2015, he received the Outstanding Faculty Service on behalf of Graduate and Professional Students award from the UF Graduate Student Council.

Research Interests

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) self-management education
  • Translational health communication in chronic disease management
  • Application of information and communication technologies in health promotion
  • Electronic health (eHealth) literacy assessment across the lifespan


  • HSC 3201 – Community and Environmental Health
  • HSC 4302 – Methods and Materials in Health Education
  • HSC 4664 – Health Communication for Consumers
  • HSC 6603 – Theories of Health Behavior and Practice in Health Education
  • HSC 6665 – Health Communication
  • HSC 6735 – Research Methods in Health Education