Health communication in public health

What are the differences between outcome objectives and communication objectives?
Develop an example of each type of objective for a health issue of your choice.

Difference Between Outcome and Communication Objectives
Health communication in public health utilizes outcome and communication
objectives as measures of the efficiency and efficacy of a communication strategy or
strategies in place. They are used to help the public health and communication specialists in
determining how well the message is received through alteration and modification of the
behavior of the individuals (Besley, Dudo, & Yuan, 2018) . Moreover, it also helps in the
evaluation of how well the message is received and perceived among the target population. In
so doing, it aids in the assessment of a program and its effects in a given community or
society.

Outcome objectives in health communication are the results or the effects of the
communication and the information disseminated thereon in a target population. They are
specific, measurable goals of the long run achievement of a program. They are used to define
the context of the messaging as they are the aim of what is to be achieved by the entire
communication program or activity among the targeted community (Dudo & Besley, 2016) .
An example of outcome objectives is seen in the health promotion program targeting
populations at high risk in of contracting HIV, would be a reduction in the prevalence and
incidence rates in a given community. The messaging aims at providing information which
will influence the sexual behavior of the target population. The long-term objective is to
reduce the spread and new infection rates in the given community.
On the other hand, communication objectives are applied in a program to aid in the
structuring of the message, audience identification, media and mode to use, and in the

OUTCOME AND COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES 2
evaluation of the results after the dissemination of information. They are paramount in the
creation of awareness, shaping attitudes, desires and wants of the target audience, stimulate
behavior change, and in setting up the evaluation criteria for the health communication
program (Besley, Dudo, & Yuan, 2018) . An example would be the context of a health
promotion program targeting the youth, transgender, and bisexuals in a community with a
high prevalence of HIV. The messaging would create awareness and advocate for safe sex to
minimize the risk of infection. The evaluation would be seen through an increase in the use of
condoms among the target group.

OUTCOME AND COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES 3

References

Besley, J. C., Dudo, A., & Yuan, S. (2018). Scientists’ views about communication
objectives. Public Understanding of Science, 27(6), 708-730.
Dudo, A., & Besley, J. C. (2016). Scientists’ prioritization of communication objectives for
public engagement. PLoS One, 11(2), 1-18.

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