What is health communication?
Health communication - like communication - has many definitions. Exchange sees health communication as: a process for partnership and participation that is based on two-way dialogue, where there is an interactive interchange of information, ideas, techniques and knowledge between senders and receivers of information on an equal footing, leading to improved understanding, shared knowledge, greater consensus, and identification of possible effective action.
Through this process of dialogue, information is shared, new knowledge is created and mutual understanding is generated. This then becomes the foundation for mutual agreement and joint action. Where this works well, a real exchange occurs, a dynamic process of feedback and adaptation takes place, and the roles of sender and receiver of messages are constantly changing.
For many years, health communication has focused on the ways to deliver messages about good practice and policy to a variety of audiences: health workers, patients, community members, opinion shapers, policy makers. More recently, the focus of health communication has moved away from the channel or the medium being used and the message or product being conveyed to the process of dialogue and discussion that is fundamental to communication. As a result, more attention is being paid to the social and political environments in which people live and work and the influence those environments have on behavior change. ‘The individual is no longer a target, but a critical participant in analyzing and adopting those messages most
definitions of health communication
1. Health communication:"is a process for the development and diffusionنشر of messages to specific audiences in order to influence their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs in favor of healthy behavioral choice’.
2. ‘encompasses the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health’
is the use of communication techniques and technologies to (positively) influence individuals, populations, and organizations for the purpose of promoting conditions conducive to human and environmental health’
The American Public Health Association lists a further range of definitions:
‘Health communication, like health education, is an approach which attempts to change a set of behaviors in a large-scale target audience regarding a specific problem in a predefined period of time’
‘Effective health communication is the art and technique of informing, influencing, and motivating individuals, institutions, and large public audiences about important health issues based on sound scientific and ethical considerations’
Emerson-Tufts Program in Health Communication
‘the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health’
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
‘the art and technique of informing, influencing and motivating individual, institutional, and public audiences about important health issues. Its scope includes disease prevention, health promotion, health care policy, and business, as well as enhancement of the quality of life and health of individuals within the community’
Health communication is the process of communicating health-related messages. Such messages may relate to the range of health promotion approaches, sites and interventions. The most common forms of health communication are education or persuasion campaigns aimed at changing the beliefs, attitudes and behaviors of individuals and communities. There is growing interest, however, in health communication strategies addressing the social, political and environmental barriers to good health.
The essence of "communication" is that it is a process -- an activity that serves to connect senders and receivers of messages through space and time. Although human beings tend to be interested primarily in the study of human communication, the process is present in all living things and, it can be argued, in all things. From this we may conclude that communication is a fundamental, universal process.
The purposes of communication:
1. To give, gate and exchange information’s and ideas.
2. To form and maintain relationships.
3. To regulate power.
4. To facilitate further contact.
Barriers to effective communication:
2. Omission; is transmission of only part of longer message .
3. over load
4. time lines
Type of communication:
“Interpersonal communication is a process that we use to communicate our ideas, thoughts, and feelings to another person”..(a process of interpersonal communication is circular, and the element are interdependent).
1- Linear view of communication fig (1)
Speaker listener speaker listener
In this figure represents linear view of communication in which the speaker speaks and the listener listens.
2- Interactional view (2)
In the above figure the speaker and listener take turns ,speaking and listening. A speak while B listen and then B speaks and A listens
3-transactional view (3):
In this figures each persons serve simultaneously as speakers and listeners, at the same time that you send message and received messages from your own communication as well as from the reactions from other persons
Methods of interpersonal communication:
There are three methods of interpersonal communication:
• Verbal (oral) communication.
• Non verbal communication.
• Written communication.
The advantages and disadvantages of verbal, nonverbal and writing communication:
Method of communication Advantages disadvantages
*feedback *Potential of distorted messages
nonverbal *Complete the understanding of oral messages Some times may not understand correctly
Writing *Provide a tangible and verifiable record
*can be saved and stored
*available for later references
*well sought –out ,logical, and clear *time consuming
*lack of feedback
*no guarantee how reader will interpret it
• Non-verbal communication is the medium through which a
Virtual human can convey an emotional state.
• It is the means through which to achieve certain expression.
• User normally have a specific expectation of how a virtual
Human should behave or respond in any given situation.
Nonverbal messages include images, actions and behaviors used to communicate. Images include photographs, film, charts, tables, graphs, and video. Nonverbal behaviors include actions, body language, and active listening. Actions and body language include eye contact, gestures, facial expressions, posture, and appearance. The effective communicator maintains eye contact for four to five seconds before looking away. Gestures should be natural and well timed. Grooming and dress should be appropriate for the situation. Listening requires good eye contact, alert body posture, and the frequent use of verbal encouragement
Elements of interpersonal communication:
What are the essential elements of the interpersonal communication?
• Source receiver: is the person who sends and receives interpersonal messages simultaneously.
• Encoding –decoding: refer to the act of putting meaning verbal and non verbal messages and driving meaning from the messages you hear from other.
• Competence: is the knowledge of and ability to use effectively your own communication system.
• Messages: are signal that serve as stimuli for a receiver.
meta messages are messages that refer to other messages feedback messages are message that are sent back by a receiver to the source in response to other messages .feed forward messages: are messages that prefer other messages and ask the listener approach future message in a certain way.
• Channel: is the mediums through which message pass and which act as bridge between source and receiver.
• Noise: is the physical, physiological psychological and semantic interference that distorts a message and that inevitable.
• Context: is the physical, social –psychological, temporal, and cultural environment in which the communication act takes place.
• Purpose: is the reason for the interpersonal interaction to learn, relate, influence, play, and help.
• Ethics: is the moral dimension of communication.
Verbal and non verbal messages:
The interaction between verbal and non verbal messages:
In face-to- face communication, you blend verbal and non verbal messages to best convey your meanings.
How do verbal and non verbal messages interact?
1- Non verbal messages often accent or emphasize some part of the verbal message.
2- Non verbal messages often complement, add to, or supplement the verbal message.
3- Non verbal messages often contradict or deny the meaning of the verbal message.
4- Non verbal messages often regulate or control the follow of the verbal message.
5- Non verbal messages often repeat or restate the meaning of the verbal message.
6- Non verbal messages often substitute or take the place of verbal message.
Our interpersonal communication skills are learned behaviors that can be improved through knowledge, practice, feedback, and reflection. Feed-forward and Feedback
How might I understand effective communication?
Effective communication begins with first understanding how the communication process works. The sender-message-channel receiver model5 describes the communication process.
The components of communication: in the SMCR model
The sender has to be aware of six variables when communicating with another person.
Sender’s Communication Skills
Sender’s Knowledge Level
Sender’s Social Position
Feedback Received by Sender
Each variable affects how we transmit our message and how the message will be received.
The sender’s communication skills involve listening, speaking, writing, reading, nonverbal communication, thinking, and reasoning.
The sender’s attitudes are defined as one’s generalized tendency to feel one way or another about something. A typical unconscious internal process that an individual might use when communicating is
(1) I ask if the person is judging me.
(2) Is the person judging my issue, belief, idea, goal, etc., that I am trying to communicate?
(3) Is the person worth listening to from my life?
(4) I decide to listen to the person from his/her perspective. What is important to understand about attitudes toward the receiver is that there is an internal unconscious dialogue occurring that often impedes the ability to send or receive. If this unconscious dialogue is not brought to the cognitive level, then it may impede effective communication.
Sender’s knowledge level If we are knowledgeable and confident in our knowledge, then we convey our message far differently than if we do not know the content or are not confident in knowing the content.
Sender’s social position What is the hierarchy of the team? Do people value what I have to communicate? If the team views the sender as a valuable team member, then the team will listen more earnestly.
Sender’s culture Different cultures foster different communication styles, e.g., linear communicator (sequential order from start to finish) communicator, a circular communicator (context is within broader dialogue/story), or a spiral communicator (start from a broad perspective and narrow down to the point).
2- The Message
The message has three components:
1- Content is simply communicating what you desire to communicate. Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, would ask, “Are you being impeccable with your words?”6 Sometimes, in our enthusiasm to speak, we do not think about what we are saying.
Context involves adapting your presentation of the content to your
audience. If you are speaking to a linear thinker, do not add a lot of “fluff” to your dialogue. If you are speaking to a person who wants to understand “the whole picture,” add more detail to the context presentation.
Treatment is the arrangement or ordering of the content by the speaker. The treatment directly supports the context and content of the message.
What make message good?
Anatomy of message (dimension of good message):
• Text or image
3- The Channel
There are two types of channels:
1- Sensory Channels
2- Institutional Channels
Sensory channels are based on the five senses of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Social scientists have found the sender is more likely to gain the receiver’s attention if the sender uses two or more sensory channels to send information.
Institutional channels are the chosen methods of disseminating
Information face-to-face conversation, printed materials, and electronic media. Each institutional medium requires one or more of the sensory channels to carry the message from the sender to the receiver. For example, when we have a face-to-face conversation (an institutional medium), we use sight (gestures, expressions), sound (voice), and possibly touch, smell, and taste.
4- The Receiver:
The receiver of the information has to use the same skill set as the sender. Communication skills, attitudes, knowledge level, social positions, culture, and feedback are all important. Furthermore, the receiver has an additional variable: credibility of the speaker. If the receiver perceives the sender as credible, objective, and having
Attention is tuning in to the message being sent, and comprehension
Involves understanding the message and accepting or rejecting it. Accepting a message involves both a cognitive acceptance of the message and an affective acceptance of the message.
The value in thinking about communication through a model such as the SCRM model is to demonstrate that effective communication is a complex process, rather than just listening and speaking. Therefore, each of us should think about the effectiveness of our current communication patterns—whether as the sender or the receiver
Affects of health communication:
Health communication programs can affect change among individuals and also in organizations, communities, and society as a whole:
• Individuals the interpersonal level is the most fundamental level of health-related communication because individual behavior affects health status. Communication can affect individuals’ awareness, knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, skills, and commitment to behavior change. Activities directed at other intended audiences for change may also affect individual change, such as involving patients in their own care.
• Groups The informal groups to which people belong and the community settings they frequent can have a significant impact on their health. Examples include relationships between customers and employees at a salon or restaurant, exercisers who go to the same gym, students and parents in a school setting, employees at a worksite, and patients and health professionals at a clinic. Activities aimed at this level can take advantage of these informal settings.
• Organizations Organizations are groups with defined structures, such as associations, clubs, or civic groups. This category can also include businesses, government agencies, and health insurers. Organizations can carry health messages to their constituents, provide support for health communication programs, and make policy changes that encourage individual change.
• Communities Community opinion leaders and policymakers can be effective allies in influencing change in policies, products, and services that can hinder or support people’s actions. By influencing communities, health communication programs can promote increased awareness of an issue, changes in attitudes and beliefs, and group or institutional support for desirable behaviors. In addition, communication can advocate policy or structural changes in the community (e.g., sidewalks) that encourage healthy behavior.
• Society as a whole influences individual behavior by affecting norms and values, attitudes and opinions, laws and policies, and by creating physical, economic, cultural, and information environments. Health communication programs aimed at the societal level can change individual attitudes or behavior and thus change social norms. Efforts to reduce drunk driving, for example, have changed individual and societal attitudes, behaviors, and policies through multiple forms of intervention, including communication.
Twentieth century newspapers, motion pictures, radio, television, and magazines, all of which have the technical capacity to deliver information to millions of people”.
The mass media are capable of facilitating short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term effects on audiences. Short-term objectives include exposing audiences to health concepts; creating awareness and knowledge; altering outdated or incorrect knowledge; and enhancing audience recall of particular advertisements or public service announcements (PSAs), promotions, or program names. Intermediate-term objectives include all of the above, as well as changes in attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of social norms. Finally, long-term objectives incorporate all of the aforementioned tasks, in addition to focused restructuring of perceived social norms, and maintenance of behavior change. Evidence of achieving these three tiers of objectives is useful in evaluating the effectiveness of mass media.
Mass media performs three key functions:
2-Shaping public relations, and
3-Advocating for a particular policy or point of view.
As education tools, media not only impart knowledge, but can be part of larger efforts (e.g., social marketing) to promote actions having social utility. As public relations tools, media assist organizations in achieving credibility and respect among public health opinion leaders, stakeholders, and other gatekeepers. Finally, as advocacy tools, mass media assist leaders in setting a policy a[/left]genda, [/right]sh[/justify]aping
محمد المدني عبد الرحمن
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تاريخ التسجيل : 04/02/2012
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