Rukhsana AHMED


Rukhsana AHMED
Associate Professor, Department of Communication

2007 – Ph.D. in Communication Studies (Health Communication), Ohio University, USA
2005 – M.A. in Communication Studies (Health Communication), Ohio University, USA
2000 – M.A. in International Development Studies, Ohio University, USA
1997 – M.S.S. in International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
1995 – B.S.S. (Hons.) in International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

DMS, 55 Laurier Avenue East, Room 11147

Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3834

Work E-mail:

Photo of Rukhsana Ahmed


Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses.

Co-Director, Diversity and Equity Research Group (DERG)

Affiliate Faculty, Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, University of Ottawa 

Affiliate Faculty, E-Business Program, University of Ottawa

Member of the Interdisciplinary Research Group in Organizational Communication (IRGOC)


Ongoing Research

My research embraces the cross/trans/inter-disciplinary nature of communication scholarship, with specific focus on examining the role of communication processes in improving health outcomes among marginalized communities and promoting broader social changes in local and international health contexts. I carry out these examinations in different communication contexts, including interpersonal, intercultural, organizational, and mass-media by using quantitative, qualitative, rhetorical, and critical methods. I am also actively involved in interdisciplinary and multisectoral research partnerships in other realms of communication, including multicultural media, religious diversity, and immigrant integration. Some of my current projects include:

  • Adaptation and validation of physicians’ cultural competence scales for use in cross-cultural health care settings (China, Italy, and Switzerland)
  • Quality improvement and safety issues in private dental care practices in Canada
  • Ottawa Multicultural Media Initiative, SSHRC funded project for developing partnership with the City of Ottawa to study Ottawa’s growing multicultural print, broadcast, and digital media and the challenges and opportunities these diverse media may represent for newcomer wellbeing, inclusion, and integration
  • The use of ICTs and mobile communications in improving healthcare services in remote and resource poor environments
  • Ethics of information sharing on mobile health applications
  • The Religion and Diversity Project/Religion et diversité, SSHRC funded Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI)
  • Health beliefs and health information seeking behaviors among culturally and religiously diverse women in Canada for exploring culturally and religiously appropriate health care practices
  • Culture, Religion, and Organ Donation
  • Policy-focused study on urban health communication strategies for promoting broad-based inclusive development (pro-poor growth, sustained improvement in health, and environmental sustainability) in the face of critical challenges posed by globalization in developing countries

Selected Publications


Hoffman-Goetz, L., Donelle, L., & AHMED, R. (2014). Health literacy in Canada: A primer for students. Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc. 

Nahon-Serfaty, I., & AHMED, R. (Eds.). (2014). New media considerations and communication across religions and cultures. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

AHMED, R., & Bates, B. R. (Eds.). (2013). Health communication and mass media: An integrated approach to policy and practice. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Gower Applied Research/Ashgate Publishing Group.  

Bates, B. R., & AHMED, R. (Eds.). (2012). Medical communication in clinical contexts. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt. Distinguished Edited Book Award by the Applied Communication Division of the National Communication Association (NCA), USA.  

Book Chapters

AHMED, R. (2015). Intercultural competence in healthcare. In J. M. Bennett (Ed.), Sage Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence (pp. 487-490). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

AHMED, R., Ahmed, M. U., & Khan, Z. H. (2014). Urban Health communication strategy of pro-poor growth for sustained improvement in health in South Asia. In C. Okigbo (Ed.), Strategic urban health communication. New York: Springer.

AHMED, R. (2012). Interpersonal health communication: An ecological perspective. In R. Obregon & S. Waisbord (Eds.), Handbook of global health communication, development and social change (pp. 144-176). Wiley Publishers. 

Reimer, V., & AHMED, R. (2012). Feeling good never looked better: Examining stereotypical representations of women in Special K advertisements. (Lead Essay). In T. Carilli, & J. Campbell (Eds.),Challenging images of women in the media: Reinventing women's lives (pp. 3-16). Lexington Books. 

Jaya, P., & AHMED, R. (2011). Women ofcolor in the academy: The South Asian ‘corner.’ In M. N. Niles, & N. Gordon(Eds.), Still searching for our Mother’s garden: Experiences of new tenure track women of color at ‘majority’ institutions (pp. 135-151). Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America.

Bates, B. R., & AHMED, R. (2007). Disaster pornography: Hurricanes, voyeurism, and the home television viewer. In R. S. Swan & K. A. Bates (Eds.), Through the eye of Katrina: Social justice in the United States (pp. 187-202). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. 

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

AHMED, R., & Veronis, L. (2015). The role of multicultural media in connecting local municipal governments with ethnocultural and immigrant communities: The case of Ottawa. Global Media Journal -- Canadian Edition, 8(2), 73-95. 

Reitmanova, S., Gustafson, D. L., & AHMED, R. (2015). “Immigrants can be deadly”: Critical discourse analysis of racialization of immigrant health in the Canadian press and public health policies. Canadian Journal of Communication, 40, 471-487. 

Brosseau, L., Wells, G., Lineker, S., Bennell, K., Sherrington, C., Briggs, A., Sturnieks, D., King, J., Thomas, R., Egan, M., Loew, L., Angelis, D. G., Casimiro, L., April, K. T., Cavallo, S., Bell, M., AHMED, R., Coyle, D., Poitras, S., Smith, C., Pugh, A., & Rahman, P. (2015). Internet-based implementation of non-pharmacological interventions of the "People Getting a Grip on Arthritis" educational program: An international online knowledge translation randomized controlled trial design protocol. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 4(1), e19. DOI: 10.2196/resprot.3572

Randhawa, G., Ferreyra, M., AHMED, R., Ezzat, O., & Pottie, K. (2013).Using machine translation in clinical practice. Canadian Family Physician, 59(4), 382-383.  

AHMED, R. & Bates, B. R. (2012). Development of scales to assess patients’ perception of physicians’ cultural competence in health care interactions. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 23(2), 287-296.

AHMED, R. (2009). Interface of political opportunism and Islamic extremism in Bangladesh: Rhetorical identification in government response. Communication Studies, 60(1), 82-96. 

AHMED, R., & Bates, B. R. (2007). Gender differences in patients' perceptions of physicians' cultural competence in health care interactions. Women's Health & Urban Life: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal, VI(2), 58-80. 

Bates, B. R., Romina, S. M., & AHMED, R. (2007). The effect of source credibility on consumers' perceptions of the quality of health information on the Internet. Journal of Cancer Education, 22(1), 15-20.

Bates, B. R., Romina, S. M., AHMED, R., & Hopson, D. (2006). The effect of source credibility on consumers' perceptions of the quality of health information on the Internet. Medical Informatics & the Internet in Medicine, 31(1), 45-52.

Conferences and Presentations

AHMED, R. (2015, November). Enhancing women’s empowerment in Canada through promoting health literacy: The role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Paper presented to the competitively selected panel, Embracing opportunities for enhancing women’s empowerment in healthcare contexts through information and communication technologies (ICTs), at the Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology, Feminist and Women’s Studies Division, and Health Communication Division, National Communication Association Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, USA.

AHMED, R., & Veronis, L. (2015, July). Creating in-between spaces through diasporic and mainstream media consumption: A comparative study of four immigrant communities in Ottawa, Canada. Paper presented at the International Association for Media and Communication Research conference held in Montreal, Canada.

Jaya, P., & AHMED, R. (2015, April). A qualitative content analysis of South Asian Mail: Representing the diversity of South Asian ethnic identity? Paper presented at the Qualitative Methods Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

AHMED, R., & Bates, B. R. (2014, November). To accommodate, or not to accommodate: Exploring patient satisfaction with doctors’ accommodative behaviors during the clinical encounter. Paper presented to the Health Communication Division, National Communication Association Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, USA.

Khan, Z. H., & AHMED, R. (2014, October). Quality improvement and safety issues in private dental care practices in Canada: What do patients say? Paper presented at the Canadian Health Workforce Conference, Canadian Health Human Resources Network, Ottawa, Canada.

AHMED, R.  (2014, June). Perceptions of ethical issues in health care practices: The experiences of Muslim immigrant women in Canada. Paper presented at the Panel, The Contingencies of Culture, Communication and Ethics in Complex Healthcare Environments, at the Conference on Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET), Lugano, Switzerland.

AHMED, R. (2014, May). The convergence of digital divide and low health literacy in Canada: Promoting health literacy through the use of technology. Paper presented at the “Communication and ‘The Good Life’ Around the World After Two Decades of the Digital Divide” Partnership for Progress on the Digital Divide (PPDD) Preconference at the International Communication Association (ICA) 2014 Conference in Seattle, Washington, USA.

AHMED, R. (2014, May). Multicultural media use by elderly Chinese immigrants in Ottawa. Paper presented at the Canadian Communication Association Annual Conference, Brock University, Saint Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

AHMED, R., & Khan, Z. M. (2014, May). Identity in the making: An intercultural dialogue between Twilight mom and Twilight daughter. Paper presented at the Canadian Communication Association Annual Conference, Brock University, Saint Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

AHMED, R. (2013, December). “Professional Face” of Emotional Labor: An Exploration into Student Health Services. Paper presented at the 3rd Global Congress for Qualitative Health Research (GCQHR): “Holistic Caring in the Global Context: Evidence from Qualitative Health Research,” Khonkaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

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