Public Health Health Communication
by
W. Douglas Evans
  • LAST REVIEWED: 15 June 2015
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 September 2015
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0042

Introduction

Communication and marketing are broad, interdisciplinary fields that draw from disciplines such as psychology, economics, sociology, business, public policy, and media studies. Health communication and marketing focus on the application of these disciplines to changing health-promoting and disease-preventing behaviors. This article cites leading works that have shaped theory, practice, and research in health communication and marketing. Schiavo 2007 (see Introductory Works) broadly defines health communication as the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence decisions that enhance health. Kotler and Andreasen 2003 (see Textbooks and Reference Resources) suggests that social marketing differs from other areas of marketing only with respect to the marketer’s objectives and those of the organization. Social marketing seeks to benefit the target audience and society rather than the marketer. Communication channels for health information changed dramatically in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The old paradigm of a one-way channel to disseminate information has given way to a multimode transactional model of communication. Social marketers are now faced with challenges, such as increases in the number and types of health issues competing for the public’s attention, significant limitations on people’s time, and an increase in the number and types of communication channels, including mobile phones and the Internet. Communication research has shown that using a multimodal approach is the most effective way to reach health audiences. Communication and marketing rely heavily on lessons drawn from the commercial sector. Commercial firms have greater resources, longer time horizons for brand and other promotional campaigns, and more than a century of success in building the consumer economy. Health communicators and social marketers have adapted techniques such as branding of behaviors and competitor analysis (where competitors may be unhealthful behaviors or unhealthful commercial products or services) from the commercial sector. Combined with the power of digital media to build awareness of messages, these commercial strategies are the future of health communication and marketing. Using these techniques, health communication and marketing can target not only individual behavior but also public policy. Social marketing in tobacco control, for example, has been used to promote policy change and new legislation, leading to changes in social norms and the acceptability of smoking. Public health organizations use branding strategies to promote social mobilization and to influence public debate and opinion. Whether to focus on individual behavior or larger policy issues involves a strategic decision by the communicator or marketer, on the basis of available resources and competition for public attention.

Introductory Works

There are several very good introductory works on health communication and social marketing. These include such well-known works as Making Health Communication Programs Work: A Planner’s Guide (National Cancer Institute 2001), better known as the “Pink Book.” Other texts explore behavior-change theory with a focus on communication as an intervention strategy for changing behavior. There are also good introductory texts on social marketing, some of which are described here; others that are intended primarily for instruction or professional use are listed under Textbooks and Reference Resources. Briefly, National Cancer Institute 2001 and National Cancer Institute 2005 represent compendiums of best practice in developing programs and in theories and the use of theory in program development and evaluation. The 2001 text is now widely regarded as a bible of sorts for practitioners and is used in many educational settings. Schiavo 2007 provides a hands-on, step-by-step approach to health communication without a direct focus on marketing. Armstrong and Kotler 2007 covers the entire management enterprise and uses extensive global case studies to describe four major themes, including digital technology and branding. Bernhardt 2006 outlines the field of health marketing, Kreps 2008 describes challenges in cancer communication, and Evans 2006 offers a primer on social marketing in health and health care. These works distill central strategies, research, and emerging trends in the field.

  • Armstrong, Gary, and Philip Kotler. 2007. Marketing: An introduction. 12th ed. New York: Prentice Hall.

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    Focuses on four major marketing themes: building and managing profitable customer relationships, building and managing strong brands to create brand equity, harnessing new marketing technologies in the digital age, and marketing in a socially responsible way around the globe. Intended for business and marketing students, the book has extensive coverage of social marketing, corporate social-responsibility marketing, and related social applications of marketing.

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    • Bernhardt, Jay M. 2006. Improving health through health marketing. Preventing Chronic Disease 3.3: 1–3.

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      Defines health marketing and distinguishes it from health communication. Argues for the importance of using marketing principles to maximize the effectiveness of public health. Outlines strategies and a vision for development of the field.

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      • Evans, W. Douglas. 2006. How social marketing works in health care. British Medical Journal 322.7551: 1207–1210.

        DOI: 10.1136/bmj.332.7551.1207-aSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        A primer on social marketing and its evolution from commercial marketing practice. Focuses on the use of social marketing in health-care settings. Offers recommendations for how health-care providers can reinforce campaigns.

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        • Kreps, Gary L. 2008. Strategic use of communication to market cancer prevention and control to vulnerable populations. Health Marketing Quarterly 25.1–2: 204–216.

          DOI: 10.1080/07359680802126327Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Describes challenges in cancer communication to vulnerable populations facing health inequalities. Explores strategies to overcome challenges and outlines an agenda for the future.

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          • National Cancer Institute. 2001. Making health communication programs work: A planner’s guide. Rev. ed. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute.

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            Step-by-step guide to conceptualizing, designing, testing, implementing, and evaluating health communication programs, written in plain language. Offers guidelines rather than rules for designing communications. Recognizes that programs are situation specific. Provides a “menu” approach for picking strategies. Addresses the role of health communication in program planning, frameworks, and theories of change and the roles of market research and program evaluation.

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            • National Cancer Institute. 2005. Theory at a glance: A guide for health promotion practice. 2d ed. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute.

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              Describes health behavior theory and its applicability to specific topic areas, including health communication. Makes health behavior theory accessible and provides tools to solve problems and assess the effectiveness of health communication and other health promotion programs. Helps users understand how individuals, groups, and organizations behave and change in order to design effective programs. Illustrates the utility of theory as a tool, especially where detailed programmatic evidence is lacking.

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              • Schiavo, Renata. 2007. Health communication: From theory to practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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                Introductory text that provides an overview of health communication both from theoretical and practice perspectives. Focuses on the multidisciplinary nature of health communication and contributions of a wide range of behavioral and social sciences. Explores modes of communication ranging from interpersonal to mass. Concludes with step-by-step guidance on setting communication objectives, planning and design, and implementation strategies.

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                Textbooks and Reference Resources

                Reference resources for those serving this field are divided most notably between academic references and practitioner references. Most of the practitioner reference works are the textbooks described in this section, whereas the academic reference works have tended to be more-specific articles that push the boundaries of the field. A few notable reference works, however, do cut across the academic or scientific and the policy and practice spheres. Kotler and Keller 2009 is among the leading authorities in marketing used in business schools worldwide, and it addresses social applications of marketing. Kotler and Lee 2008 and Kotler and Andreasen 2003 are among the most widely used titles to define the theory, practice, and research underlying social marketing and its application in not-for-profit settings. French, et al. 2010 provides a broad review of how social marketing is applied in public health and future directions. Obregon and Waisbord 2012 is a reference that provides multiple theoretical, practice, and research perspectives on health communication across global settings. Hastings 2007 is a textbook suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate education, with a thorough review of principles and practices in the field. Thompson, et al. 2008 and Kreps and Thornton 1992 address the role of communication in health care and argue for its renewed emphasis in health-care delivery. Wright and Moore 2008 addresses multiple communication contexts, including lifespan perspectives. Harris 2009 is another good resource focusing on newer technologies.

                • Dill, Karen E., ed. 2013. The Oxford handbook of media psychology. Oxford Library of Psychology. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                  Professional reference and textbook intended for graduate education. Defines and reviews the field of media psychology. Describes history of the field and current methods, including narrative models, media literacy studies, quantitative and qualitative research design, and analytic methods. Explores media types, the effects of media on society, the role of framing and emotional appeals, race and ethnicity as portrayed in the media, new technologies such as gaming and digital health, and meta issues in media psychology. Discusses the effects of media on children and adolescents and of various media exposures on their behavior and well-being.

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                  • French, Jeff, Clive Blair-Stevens, Dominic McVey, and Rowena Merritt. 2010. Social marketing and public health. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                    Defines social marketing as “the systematic application of marketing, alongside other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioral goals, for a social good” (p. xi). Makes the case for social marketing as a critical public health strategy. Describes how to scope, design, implement, evaluate, revise, and disseminate social marketing across the gamut of public health topics. Provides an up-to-date picture of early-21st-century practice and innovations in social marketing as applied to public health.

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                    • Harris, Richard Jackson. 2009. A cognitive psychology of mass communication. 5th ed. New York: Routledge.

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                      Professional reference and textbook intended for graduate education. Explores the cognitive psychological impact of mass communication on modern life. Specifically focuses on role of new and digital media and changing use and effects of mass media, including TV, the Internet, and mobile devices. Describes research methods, theory, and measurement of media and mass communication. Explores global settings and differences in media and mass communication in the developed and developing worlds.

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                      • Hastings, Gerard. 2007. Social marketing: Why should the devil have all the best tunes? Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

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                        Textbook intended for advanced undergraduate-and graduate-level study in social marketing. Focuses on the power of commercial marketing, its successes, and what can and cannot be transferred from the commercial sector to social marketing. Explores theory and its applications and limitations in behavior change in depth. Exercises and additional readings are provided in each chapter. The second half of the book focuses on worldwide case examples provided by numerous contributors.

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                        • Kotler, Philip, and Alan Andreasen. 2003. Strategic marketing for nonprofit organizations. 6th ed. New York: Prentice Hall.

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                          Provides basic grounding in marketing strategies for nonprofit organizations. Covers the entire marketing process and explores strategic evaluations, positioning, market targeting, and more. Designed for managers and future managers of nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, and government agencies.

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                          • Kotler, Philip, and Kevin Keller. 2009. Marketing management. 13th ed. New York: Prentice Hall.

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                            The world’s most widely used graduate-level textbook in marketing. Topics covered include brand equity, customer value analysis, database marketing, e-commerce, value networks, hybrid channels, supply chain management, segmentation, targeting, positioning, and integrated marketing communications. Articulates Kotler’s vision of going beyond price to address innovation, distribution, and promotion systems and their effects on economic outcomes.

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                            • Kotler, Philip, and Nancy Lee. 2008. Social marketing: Influencing behaviors for good. 3d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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                              Practitioner-oriented book that defines social marketing in terms of the strategic application of marketing for behavior change with specific targeted audiences. Extensive use of case examples, which frame discussion of each step in the social-marketing strategic-development process. Focuses on the voluntary nature of social behavior change and the importance of offering positive benefits and exchanges with audiences, as illustrated in case examples.

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                              • Kreps, Gary L., and Barbara C. Thornton. 1992. Health communication: Theory and practice. 2d ed. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland.

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                                Focuses on the critical role of communication in public health and the delivery of health care. Argues that communication needs renewed emphasis to improve health-care delivery. Includes extensive case studies in public health and health care.

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                                • Obregon, Rafael, and Silvio Waisbord, eds. 2012. The handbook of global health communication. Handbooks in Communication and Media. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

                                  DOI: 10.1002/9781118241868Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  Professional reference and textbook intended for graduate education. Reviews theoretical perspectives in global health and the role of health communication in aid and development. Describes methods for health communication, including community health and mobilization, digital communication, educational entertainment, interpersonal communication, and mass communication campaigns. Provides case studies in applied theory and innovation and reviews crosscutting issues such as capacity building and sustainability in global contexts.

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                                  • Thompson, Teresa L., Alicia M. Dorsey, Katherine I. Miller, and Roxanne Parrott, eds. 2008. The handbook of health communication. New York: Routledge.

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                                    Provides a broad theoretical framework for health communication. Addresses communication at multiple environmental levels, including community, medical, organizational, and mass media. Offers in-depth coverage of provider-patient communication in health care.

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                                    • Wright, Kevin B., and Scott D. Moore, eds. 2008. Applied health communication. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.

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                                      Addresses health communication in multiple contexts, including new technologies, across the lifespan and specific disease conditions. Extensive coverage of communication research methods. Covers use of research for development of communication programs.

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                                      Journals

                                      There is a growing number of journals in health communication and social marketing. Several have existed for many years under the umbrella of the International Communication Association and SAGE Publications and have substantial impact scores. Others are more recent. Communication journals can be viewed in several major groups. Journal of Communication and Communication Theory have the broadest reach, spanning communication and its delivery across subject matter domains (beyond health), channels, theories, and methodologies. Journal of Health Communication International Perspectives and Health Communication focus specifically on the theory, research, and practice of communication as it applies to public health and health care. Communication Research and Human Communication Research focus specifically on research methods, empirical research, and the evidence base. Global Media and Communication, International Journal of Communication, and Patient Education and Counseling focus on global perspectives, with emphasis on the developing world, mass media, and health care. Social Marketing Quarterly and Health Marketing Quarterly focus on marketing perspectives beyond communication in public health and health care. Additionally, while it covers topics beyond communication, the Journal of Medical Internet Research publishes substantial relevant research on the use of mobile phones and other digital communication technologies.

                                      Media Channels

                                      There are several texts on the intersection of communication and media research and the relationship between the two. Nabi and Oliver 2009 and Bryant and Oliver 2009 are comprehensive texts on media studies, including theory, research, and practice on the effects of media on individuals and society. McQuail 2010 emphasizes non-mass-media channels, including new social and mobile media and their emerging role in media studies.

                                      • Bryant, Jennings, and Mary Beth Oliver. 2009. Media effects: Advances in theory and research. 3d ed. New York: Routledge.

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                                        Substantially revised edition of a classic among media-effects studies. Examines the full range of research, theory, and practice. Includes coverage of news framing and media advocacy, Social Cognitive Theory, and messaging theory, such as the elaboration likelihood model, all new to this volume. Addresses digital communication effects, including gaming, web, and mobile communications.

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                                        • McQuail, Denis. 2010. McQuail’s mass communication theory. 6th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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                                          Starts from premise that mass communication extends well beyond mass media. Extensive coverage of digital media channels and how they shape media consumption and outcomes. Covers several crosscutting themes, including time, place, power, social reality, meaning, causation, mediation, identify, cultural difference, and governance issues. Addresses political, cultural, and economic dimensions of mass communication.

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                                          • Nabi, Robin L., and Mary Beth Oliver. 2009. The SAGE handbook of media processes and effects. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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                                            Addresses theoretical, methodological, and conceptual issues in media research. Organized to address historical context, theory, and conceptual developments across the landscape of media processes and effects. Frames media effects to include not only outcomes of media consumption but also attendant processes, including those that mediate the effects of consumption on outcomes.

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                                            Special Topics and Specific Populations

                                            There are several important special topics of interest within health communication and social marketing, including risk communication, brands and branding, targeted and tailored communications for specific populations, interpersonal communication, and community-level media approaches. Kreuter, et al. 2000 is a now-classic study of tailoring as a public health strategy and has led development of this area of research since its publication. Bennett and Calman 2010 is an in-depth study of how risk communication and human reasoning research have been applied in public health and future directions. Evans and Hastings 2008 defines branding as a public health strategy and reviews the theory, research, and practice of public health branding worldwide. Howley 2010 focuses on non-mass-media communication, especially community outreach, advocacy, and development of social movements to promote health. Kotler and Lee 2009 describes social marketing as a strategy to combat poverty by removing barriers to health and economic development in poor communities.

                                            • Bennett, Peter, and Kenneth Calman. 2010. Risk communication and public health. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                              DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562848.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Focuses on risk communication in public health, with emphasis on mass risk communication and public policy implications. Explores human limitations in probabilistic reasoning and decision making under uncertainty. Investigates strategies to overcome limited public understanding of risk. Treats decisions about how to respond to risk communication as “values based” rather than “rational” or “technical” in nature.

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                                              • Evans, W. Douglas, and Gerard Hastings. 2008. Public health branding: Applying marketing for social change. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237135.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                Defines the concept of “behavioral branding” and describes branding as a public health strategy. Examines brand research, theory, and best practices. Offers extensive case studies and evidence reviews across the areas of chronic and infectious disease. Argues that branding is effective and especially important in public health, because it can simplify health choices and address multiple health risks and health-promoting lifestyle options simultaneously.

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                                                • Howley, Kevin. 2010. Understanding community media. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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                                                  Explores the active creation of messages and utilization of media by diverse communities. Provides a framework for understanding cross-cultural communication. Investigates new and digital media and the community’s roles in their creation and use to disseminate health messages. Explores the role of community media in social movements, community development, social justice, and promoting health equity.

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                                                  • Kotler, Philip, and Nancy Lee. 2009. Up and out of poverty: The social marketing solution. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press.

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                                                    Examines the root causes of global poverty and what social marketing can do to help. Helping the poor is best achieved by giving them tools to solve their own problems. Explores how the social marketing process, including planning, implementation, monitoring, and control, can help alleviate poverty. Describes the concept of a mix of poverty solutions based on social marketing principles.

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                                                    • Kreuter, Matthew, David Farrell, Laura Olevitch, and Laura Brennan. 2000. Tailoring health messages: Customizing communication with computer technology. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

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                                                      Introduces the concept of tailoring health communication as is widespread in commercial marketing and advertising, especially online. Presents the theoretical rationale and empirical evidence for tailoring. Describes tailoring strategies in public health and provides step-by-step guidance to practitioners. Offers a research and practice agenda for advancing the use of tailoring in health communication.

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                                                      Health Literacy

                                                      Health literacy is the ability of individuals to understand information related to their health, to make informed decisions, and to take effective action in their own interest. This includes interaction with health-care providers as well as understanding and acting effectively on health communication and marketing campaigns and interventions. Health literacy was identified as a priority for national health by the United States Healthy People 2010 and Healthy People 2020 initiatives and has been a focus of federal and privately sponsored health promotion programs in the early 21st century. Nielsen-Bohlman, et al. 2004 lays out a programmatic and research agenda for the emerging field of health literacy.

                                                      • Nielsen-Bohlman, Lynn, Alison M. Panzer, and David A. Kindig, eds. 2004. Health literacy: A prescription to end confusion. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

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                                                        Health literacy is among the most important factors that influence health. People’s ability to understand and interpret health information and to make informed decisions about their health is a significant predictor of their health outcomes. Health literacy is not well understood and has received too-little attention in public health programs. This book sets a health literacy agenda.

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                                                        Health, Mobile Health, and Social Media

                                                        Mobile health (mHealth), the use of mobile phones as a tool for health-care treatment and public health behavior change, is a rapidly expanding field that has significant promise to improve public health and to increase the effectiveness of disease prevention and health promotion programs. Mobile phones are poised to be powerful tools to promote health in a number of domains and settings worldwide (Abroms, et al. 2012, cited under Evidence Base, Research Methods, and Theories). Social media, including the use of social networking websites (e.g., Facebook), microblogging (e.g., Twitter), and video/graphic-sharing services (e.g., Instagram) have become omnipresent. Much of daily human behavior is now guided and documented on a moment-to-moment basis by these tools. The field of social network analysis seeks to understand the role of social networks in general, and social media in particular, in human behavior. These domains are fields within eHealth, which reflects the use of digital technologies for health intervention, behavior change, and health care and management.

                                                        • Hicks, Nancy J., and Christina M. Nicols. 2012. Health industry communication: New media, new methods, new message. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

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                                                          Describes health communication in relation to the health-care field and its role in empowering health-care consumers. Provides an overview of the changing media landscape, and of increased public awareness of health and information to make informed personal health-care decisions. Discusses the role of the Internet and new media technologies, including mobile phone and social media, in changing health-care consumer knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Describes the role of health communication in promoting patient advocacy and growing public awareness of health care, and the role of these social changes in health-care reform.

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                                                          • Noar, Seth M., and Nancy Grant Harrington, eds. 2012. eHealth applications: Promising strategies for behavior change. Routledge Communication. New York: Routledge.

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                                                            Examines technological applications in early-21st-century health communication research and explores the history and current uses of eHealth applications in disease prevention and management. The volume addresses specific areas, including eHealth interventions for behavior change, research methods, mHealth, and social media and social networks. The field of eHealth addresses many of the barriers to population-level behavior change faced by earlier approaches, such as mass media and individual or group therapy approaches. It provides an overview of how eHealth has enabled tailored health interventions and the state of evidence and future direction in the field.

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                                                            • Valente, Thomas W. 2010. Social networks and health: Models, methods, and applications. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                              DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195301014.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Provides an introduction to the analysis of social networks. Presents major theories, methods, models, evidence, case studies, and future directions in the field. Defines the topic of social network analysis, provides practical applications of how the field is currently being applied and developed, discusses research and practice methods, and describes specific applications to public health. Describes the role of social media in social networks and future implications for behavior change interventions, translation, and implementation research.

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                                                              Evidence Base, Research Methods, and Theories

                                                              There is a growing literature on the evidence underlying health communication and marketing, research methods specific to the field, and studies to validate theoretical assumptions and to advance theory. These include both quantitative analytic methods and instrumentation and qualitative and special-topic methods (e.g., interpersonal research). Communication research methods and theories are interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from the social and behavioral sciences, business and marketing, and health and public policy arenas. Major domains of theory in communication and marketing include exposure theory, message theory, behavior change theory, and marketing theory. The “marketing mix” or “four Ps” of marketing (place, price, product, and promotion) is the central construct. Methods include using behavioral theory to influence behavior that affects health; assessing factors that underlie the receptivity of audiences to messages, such as the credibility and likability of the argument; and strategic marketing of messages that aim to change the behavior of target audiences by using the four Ps. Specific examples of predictive theoretical models include the Health Belief Model, Theory of Planned Behavior, Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction, and Social Cognitive Theory. Hornik 2002 describes the evidence base, methods, and future directions in empirical health communication research, with emphasis on evaluation of mass-media campaigns. Snyder and Hamilton 2002 provides a class-systematic review of the evidence base in health communication, which has led to numerous follow-up studies. Hornik, et al. 2008 evaluates the national antidrug campaign and shows that it was ineffective, raising questions about future directions in communications to prevent drug abuse. Farrelly, et al. 2005 evaluates the “truth” tobacco-countermarketing campaign and finds that it was effective in using a branding strategy to prevent adolescents from becoming smokers. Cole-Lewis and Kershaw 2010 reviews public health campaigns using text messaging and finds that they show some limited evidence of effectiveness in disease management and treatment adherence. Evans, et al. 2010 reviews effective social marketing campaigns to prevent childhood obesity and offers a theoretical framework for future efforts. Andreasen 2002 provides a simple, low-cost approach to market research that focuses on working “backward” from intended outcomes to define objectives and research methods. Hayes, et al. 2008 reviews advanced topics in communication research methods and identifies future methodological developments, including statistical applications and use of new and mobile technologies. Lindlof and Taylor 2002 is a comprehensive review of qualitative communication research methods with emphasis on the role of qualitative methods in formative research. Smith and Wilson 2010 reviews interpersonal research methods and situates this field and its role within the broader context of communication research.

                                                              • Abroms, Lorien C., Nalini Padmanabhan, and W. Douglas Evans. 2012. Mobile phones for health communication to promote behavior change. In eHealth applications: Promising strategies for health behavior change. Edited by Seth M. Noar and Nancy Grant Harrington, 147–166. Routledge Communication. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                Focuses on use of mobile phones for behavior change. Provides background on and examples of mHealth. Examines growing evidence for the effectiveness of mobile phones as health promotion and health-care adjunctive tools. Discusses widespread application of mHealth research and the emerging theoretical bases to support use of mHealth techniques and future directions of research. Designed for health promotion and health communication students and professionals.

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                                                                • Andreasen, Alan. 2002. Marketing research that won’t break the bank. 2d ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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                                                                  Focuses on practical and inexpensive application of marketing research. Centered on the principle of “backward” marketing research: the research outcome must be defined before the process. Provides practical guidance for research methods and case examples of low-cost methods. Focuses on research utilization and actions by managers. Designed for business schools, social marketing, and communication students.

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                                                                  • Cole-Lewis, H., and T. Kershaw. 2010. Text messaging as a tool for behavior change in disease prevention and management. Epidemiologic Reviews 32.1: 56–69.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/epirev/mxq004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    A systematic review of the literature on text messaging as a communication strategy for behavior change. Found that most evaluations have been small scale, using observational designs. There is some evidence that text messaging improves disease management (e.g., of diabetes) and treatment adherence (e.g., smoking cessation).

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                                                                    • Evans, W. Douglas, Katherine K. Christoffel, Jonathan W. Necheles, and Adam B. Becker. 2010. Social marketing as a childhood obesity prevention strategy. In Special issue: Community-based approaches to childhood obesity: Research progress and future directions. Obesity 18.S1: S23–S26.

                                                                      DOI: 10.1038/oby.2009.428Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      A review and commentary on the use of social marketing combined with social-ecological approaches to prevention of childhood obesity. Reviews the evidence base for the use of such approaches with disadvantaged populations. Argues for a need to use multiple channels at multiple ecological levels and to leverage health strategies.

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                                                                      • Evans, W. Douglas, Subhrendu K. Pattanayak, Shannon Young, Justin Buszin, Shailesh Rai, and Jasmine Wallace Bihm. 2014. Social marketing of water and sanitation products: A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. Social Science &Medicine 110:18–25.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.03.011Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        A systematic review and analysis of social marketing programs for global water and sanitation in the peer-reviewed literature. Found that water and sanitation behaviors can be marketed like commercial products and that there has been no previous systematic review of theory, research, and practice in this area. Identified thirty-two articles over a twenty-two-year period that met search criteria. Evaluations of social marketing for water and sanitation show improvements in mediators but mixed results in behavior change. Social marketing can improve water and sanitation programs worldwide.

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                                                                        • Farrelly, Matthew C., Kevin C. Davis, M. Lyndon Haviland, Peter Messeri, and Cheryl G. Healton. 2005. Evidence of a dose–response relationship between “truth” antismoking ads and youth smoking prevalence. American Journal of Public Health 95.3: 425–431.

                                                                          DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.049692Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          An outcome evaluation of the “truth” national tobacco-countermarketing campaign. Using a quasi-experimental design based on relating natural variation in campaign exposure within designated market areas (DMAs) across the United States, established that exposure to truth advertising accounted for 22 percent of the observed reduction in adolescent smoking prevalence during 2000–2002.

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                                                                          • Hayes, Andrew F., Michael D. Slater, and Leslie B. Snyder. 2008. The SAGE sourcebook of advanced data analysis methods for communication research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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                                                                            Attempts to answer the question, “What responsibilities do we have as educators of the next generation of communication scholars to help students in the field acquire state-of-the-art analytical methods?” Explores advanced analytical techniques and their application in communication research, including mediation analysis, multilevel modeling, event history analysis, network analysis, cluster analysis, and meta-analysis. Designed as an advanced graduate-level and professional text.

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                                                                            • Hornik, Robert. 2002. Public health communication: Evidence for behavior change. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

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                                                                              Starts from premise that well-designed health communication is effective in changing health behavior. Presents numerous case studies and explores analytical methods. Focuses on the importance of adequate exposure to communications as a precondition for successful behavior change. Provides global health evidence. Synthesizes the health communication evidence base and argues for the importance of more research on mechanisms of behavior change.

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                                                                              • Hornik, Robert C., Lela Jacobsohn, Robert Orwin, Andrea Piesse, and Graham Kalton. 2008. Effects of the national youth anti-drug media campaign on youths. American Journal of Public Health 98.12: 2229–2236.

                                                                                DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.125849Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                An outcome evaluation of the national Office of National Drug Control Policy’s antidrug campaign targeting adolescents. Using a quasi-experimental design, the authors found that exposure to the campaign did not reduce drug use behaviors such as marijuana initiation and in some cases was associated with increased intention to use drugs and to initiate marijuana use.

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                                                                                • Lindlof, Thomas R., and Bryan C. Taylor. 2002. Qualitative communication research methods. 2d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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                                                                                  A thorough treatment of theory and methods for collecting and analyzing qualitative data on communication processes and effects. Begins with background on positivist, postpositivist, and interpretivist research paradigms. Addresses all nine domains of communication research. Detailed coverage of qualitative analysis methods. Covers interpretation and oral and written presentation of qualitative findings.

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                                                                                  • Smith, Sandi W., and Steven R. Wilson. 2010. New directions in interpersonal communication research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.4135/9781483349619Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Synthesizes new research questions and methodologies in interpersonal communication. Notes that interpersonal communication research continues to study close human relationships, relational development, uncertainty, problems, and resolution strategies. Goes on to address a new focus in the field on social context in interpersonal relationship development and communication. Notes the growth of theory and the use of advanced experimental design and statistical analysis techniques in the field.

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                                                                                    • Snyder, Leslie B., and Mark A. Hamilton. 2002. Meta-analysis of U.S. health campaign effects on behavior: Emphasize enforcement, exposure, and new information, and beware the secular trend. In Public health communication: Evidence for behavior change. Edited by Robert C. Hornik, 357–383. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

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                                                                                      A systematic review of published, peer-reviewed evaluations of health communication campaigns using mass media. Establishes that campaigns are generally effective in the range of 5–9 percentage points’ effect in improvement of health risk behaviors across a range of subject matter, including nutrition, physical activity, tobacco control, HIV/AIDS prevention, and related behavior-change programs.

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