Health Communication in Public Health

Health Communication in Public Health

What role does health communication have in public health? Provide an example of
how health communication is applied in public health and the impact it has had.
Describe the key features and characteristics of health communication and comment on
which you think are the most important and why.

Health communication is a key aspect of public health. It provides for exchange of
information, thus influencing disease prevention and intervention measures, improvement of
the quality of life, and health promotion through sensitization and awareness creation. As
such, it influences the behavior of individuals and communities, leading to healthy practices
and public safety as it targets a broad audience (Schiavo, 2016) . Consequently, it is integral in
all aspects of public health and can be to the community and also to the health personnel and
thus provision of vital information in the prevention, control, and promotion of healthy
activities and traits.
An example of health communication in public health is the Northeast Louisiana
regional Pre-diabetes prevention project (RPDP) which was commissioned by the North
Louisiana Regional Alliance health network (NLRA) to address the high and rising incidence
levels of diabetes in the region. The core purpose was to sensitize the communities and as
such, reduce the prevalence and incidence rates of the condition (Rural Health Information
Hub, 2019) . Moreover, it aimed at ensuring the already diagnosed and affected individuals
were adequately equipped with the relevant information to ensure efficacious self-
management. The main strategies utilized included diabetes screening, health education, and
pharmacological self-management of the patients. The impact of the project was the
reduction in the prevalence, incidence, and mortality rates from diabetes in the region.

HEALTH COMMUNICATION 2

The key features and characteristics of health communication are used and
implemented to ensure that the program has the desired and intended impact. They include
clarity of the message being passed across, availability and accessibility of the information,
consistency, accuracy, and balance of the message, and reliability. Moreover, it should be
evidence-based and culturally competent to ensure its reach (Frieden, 2014) . Additionally,
language preferences, media habits of the targeted audience, should be considered when
structuring and dissemination information through health communication to be effective. The
most important characteristic is the clarity of the message as it is easily understood by the
targeted demographics. Consequently, the intended impact will be achieved.

HEALTH COMMUNICATION 3

References

Frieden, T. R. (2014). Six components necessary for effective public health program
implementation. American Journal of Public Health, 104(1), 17-22.
Rural Health Information Hub. (2019). Northeast Louisiana regional pre-diabetes prevention
program.
Schiavo, R. (2016). The importance of community-based communication for health and
social change. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 9(1), 1-3.

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