Tutorials: Health Communication

An Introduction to Health Communication

44 slides, approximately 20 minutes

This tutorial defines health communication. Then it introduces the 4 main components of health communication, which are the source, the message, the channel, and the receiver. A diagram demonstrates how the components interact. Another diagram uses breastfeeding as an example, showing how you might use the health communication components to promote breastfeeding. The Healthy People 2020 objectives pertaining to health communication are stated and three tips to health communication are presented. Then the P-Process is introduced, and each step is discussed individually. The 3rd step (Development & Testing) is further demonstrated by showing how tailoring and framing can be used to develop messaging. Lastly, three challenges to health communication are discussed.

  • To take this tutorial online, please click here (There will be a quiz and additional activities at the end).
  • To download a PDF of this tutorial, please click here (This is the tutorial slides only).
  • To download the toolkit for this tutorial, please click here (This includes references, quiz, answer sheet, and additional activities).

NOTE: You will only receive a certificate of completion if you do the tutorial online.

By the end of this tutorial, you will:

  • Be able to define health communication
  • Understand the different components of communication and how they interact
  • Have the knowledge to plan a health communication program
  • Have the skills to use tailoring and framing in health communication
  • Be aware of the challenges associated with health communication

Health Communication and Theory

35 slides, approximately 20 minutes

This tutorial explains why theory is important in terms of planning a health communication campaign. Then it describes in depth three popular behavioral theories and how they can be applied to planning a health communication campaign geared at promoting breastfeeding. The three theories discussed include the Theory of Planned Behavior, the Social Learning Theory, and the Transtheoretical Model.

  • To take this tutorial online, please click here (There will be a quiz and additional activities at the end).
  • To download a PDF of this tutorial, please click here (This is the tutorial slides only).
  • To download the toolkit for this tutorial, please click here (This includes references, quiz, answer sheet, and additional activities).

NOTE: You will only receive a certificate of completion if you do the tutorial online.

By the end of this tutorial, you will:

  • Understand some behavioral theories and how they affect the way individuals make decisions regarding their health
  • Have the skills to apply the components of behavioral theories to make more effective campaign messaging

Health Literacy

41 slides, approximately 20 minutes

This tutorial defines health literacy and goes over the various tasks that involve being health literate. These tasks range from being able to fill out a medical form to being able to calculate dosages for medicine. The populations that are especially vulnerable to low health literacy rates are discussed, as well as the outcomes of having low health literacy. Next, many approaches to improving low health literacy are examined, such as following the Healthy People 2020 objectives and speaking in plain language. The SAM instrument is also introduced. Lastly, low health literacy is shown to impact decisions to breastfeed.

  • To take this tutorial online, please click here (There will be a quiz and additional activities at the end).
  • To download a PDF of this tutorial, please click here (This is the tutorial slides only).
  • To download the toolkit for this tutorial, please click here (This includes references, quiz, answer sheet, and additional activities).

NOTE: You will only receive a certificate of completion if you do the tutorial online.

By the end of this tutorial, you will:

  • Be able to understand the nature and consequences of low health literacy on a person’s health
  • Have the skills to reduce and assess the literacy level of health information materials and websites

Social Marketing and the 4 P's

36 slides, approximately 20 minutes

This tutorial begins by defining social marketing and introducing the 4 P’s. A breastfeeding commercial is shown, and the audience is asked to come up with potential descriptions of the 4 P’s for that campaign. Then the differences between social marketing and commercial marketing are discussed. The four types of behavior change and the three various approaches to social marketing are described and demonstrated through breastfeeding examples.

  • To take this tutorial online, please click here (There will be a quiz and additional activities at the end).
  • To download a PDF of this tutorial, please click here (This is the tutorial slides only).
  • To download the toolkit for this tutorial, please click here (This includes references, quiz, answer sheet, and additional activities).

NOTE: You will only receive a certificate of completion if you do the tutorial online.

By the end of this tutorial, you will:

  • Understand the difference between commercial marketing and social marketing
  • Have the skills to come up with a “Marketing Mix” in which you integrate product, price, place, and promotion in order to maximize campaign effectiveness