Knowledge is power. To help prevent disease, one must empower the patient. Thus, effective Health Communication gives us the ability to empower those we seek to treat. The value of Health Communication has already been highlighted in the United States of America (USA)’s Healthy People objectives since 2010. It is highly relevant to virtual areas of health and well-being which include disease prevention, health promotion and quality of life. Changing the health behaviour of the public is critical for disease prevention.

When done right, information can be shared and exchanged in an inspiring and dynamic way.  According to Rimal & Lapinski, “communication can be defined as the symbolic exchange of shared meaning, and all communicative acts have both a transmission and a ritualistic component.” The main areas to consider should be the channels, source, receiver and message respectively.  However, there have been differences between messages disseminated and received.  Target audiences derive meaning not only from the message, through the processes of selective exposure, but also their own subjective thoughts on the content of the message and even the method by which it is delivered to them.  It also depends on individual factors and their macro-social levels. The message, for the individuals who have different prior experience, knowledge, efficacy beliefs, interpersonal relationships, cultural patterns, and social norms, has various meanings. Therefore, health communication contributes to the understanding of communication processes to change health behaviour.

According to Robinson & Patrick, doctors and other health professionals should promote and participate in an evidence-based approach to the development and promotion of interactive health communication.  A standardised approach can help developers and evaluators to disclose their results and to help clinicians, purchasers, and consumers judge its quality. Research has found that computer-based patient support systems such as Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System can benefit patients. This system provides information and social support to help the users make more informed decisions. It also increases their participation, allowing them to have greater control over their own health care. The potential benefits for recently underserved populations may be the most valuable.

 

 

Reference

http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/4/08-056713/en/

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e641/81a2ebbde93d3f0f4f0dc5493ce669182a7a.pdf

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1046/j.1525-1497.2001.016007435.x