Communicating About Health Current Issues and Perspectives

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Edition: 6th
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2020-07-31
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
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Now in its sixh edition, Communicating About Health: Current Issues and Perspectives continues to live up to its long-standing reputation as the most dynamic and current exploration of health communication on the market. The book offers rich, current research and in-depth analysis of the cultural, social, and organizational issues that influence health communication and health advocacy.

Communicating About Health is an indispensable resource for readers seeking to improve their communication abilities in fields related to health. This text explores health communication through the eyes of patients, care providers, healthcare leaders, campaign designers, and more. Readers will learn how culture, media, personal identity, technology, social networks, and other factors contribute to health and healing.

Visit for access to a wealth of digital resources for both instructors and students.

Author Biography

Athena du Pr? is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of West Florida. She is also the coauthor of Essential Communication (OUP, 2018, Second Edition) and Understanding Human Communication (OUP, 2019, Fourteenth Edition).

Barbara Cook Overton earned a Ph.D. in Health Communication from Louisiana State University and is the author of Unintended Consequences of Electronic Medical Records: An Emergency Room Ethnography (2019).

Table of Contents

Part I. Establishing a Context for Health Communication
Chapter 1: Introduction
I. The Importance of Health Communication
II. A Systems-Level Approach
III. Philosophy Behind This Book
IV. What Is Health?
V. What Is Health Communication?
VI. Health Care Models
VII. Communication's Influence on Health

Box 1.1 Career Opportunities: Profiles of More Than 125 Health-Related Jobs
Box 1.2 Learn While You Make a Difference
Box 1.3 Perspectives: True Stories About Health Communication Experiences
Box 1.4 Theoretical Foundations: The Basis for Health Communication
Box 1.5 Resources: Health Communication Organizations and Resources
Box 1.6 Perspectives: A Memorable Hospital Experience
Box 1.7 Ethical Considerations: An Essential Component of Heath Communication
Box 1.8 Perspectives: Down, But Not Out

Chapter 2 The Landscape for Health Communication
I. Current Issues in Health Care
II. Health Communication in a Changing World
III. Communication in Managed Care
IV. Health Care Reform

Box 2.1-Selecting a Managed Care Plan
Box 2.2-Ethical Considerations: Classroom Debate on Health Care Reform

Figure 2.1 - Percentage of Physicians Surveyed

Table 2.1 World Health Systems Performance Ranking

Part II. The Roles of Patients and Professional Caregivers
Chapter 3 Patient-Caregiver Communication
I. Medical Talk and Power Differentials
II. Collaborative Communication
III. Communication Skill Builders

Box 3.1 Career Opportunities: Health Communication Research
Box 3.2 Ethical Considerations: The Truth, the Whole Truth EL. or Not?
Box 3.3 Perspectives: A Mother's Experience at the Dentist
Box 3.4 Theoretical Foundations: Integrative Health Model
Box 3.5 Communication Tips for Patients

Ch 4 Patient Perspectives
I. Patient Socialization
II. Voice of Lifeworld
III. Health and Identity
IV. Satisfaction
V. Cooperation and Consent

Box 4.1 Perspectives: The Agony of Uncertainty
Box 4.2 Ethical Considerations: Does Satisfaction Reflect Quality?
Box 4.3 Career Opportunities: Patient Advocacy
Box 4.4 Ethical Considerations: Patients' Right to Informed Consent

Chapter 5 Care Provider Perspectives
I. Care Provider Preparation
II. Systems-Level Influences on Care Providers
III. Psychological Influences on Caregivers
IV. Stress and Burnout
V. Medical Mistakes
VI. Interprofessional Teamwork

Box 5.1: Career Opportunities: Care Providers
Box 5.2 Perspectives: Blowing the Whistle on an Impaired Physician
Box 5.3 Communication Skill Builder: Dealing with Difficult Patients

Part III. Diversity in Health Care
Chapter 6 Diversity in Health Care
I. Intersectionality Theory
II. Socioeconomic Status
III. Health Literacy
IV. Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
V. Race and Ethnicity
VI. Language Differences
VII. Disabilities

Table 6.1. Words That Can Baffle

Box 6.1. Ethical Considerations: Who Gets What Care?
Box 6.2. Genetic Profiling: A View into Your Health Future
Box 6.3. Perspectives: Language Barriers in a Health Care Emergency
Box 6.4. Career Opportunities: Diversity Awareness
Box 6.5. Perspectives: My Disability Doesn't Show

Chapter 7 Cultural Conception of Health and Illness
I. Culture and Health Communication
II. Cultural Conceptions of Health
III. Making Sense of Health Experiences
IV. Social Roles and Health
V. Illness and Coping Metaphors
VI. Sick Roles and Healer Roles
VII. Holistic Care

Box 7.1. Theoretical Foundations: Theory of Health as Expanded Consciousness
Box 7.2. Perspectives: Thai Customs and a Son's Duty
Box 7.3. Ethical Considerations: Physician as Parent or Partner?
Box 7.4. Perspectives: Partners in Care
Box 7.5. Holistic Medicine at a Glance
Box 7.6. Career Opportunities: Holistic Medicine

Part IV. Coping and Health Resources
Chapter 8 Social Support, Family Caregiving, and End of Life
I. Conceptual Overview
II. Coping and Communication
III. When Social Support Goes Wrong
IV. Animal Companions
V. Transformative Experiences
VI. Friends and Family as Caregivers
VII. End-of-Life Experiences
VIII. Advance-Care Directives
IX. Communication Skill Builder: Delivering Bad News

Box 8.1 When Communication Ability Is Compromised
Box 8.2 Theory of Problematic Integration
Box 8.3 Organ Donations: The Nicholas Effect
Box 8.4 Perspectives: A Long Goodbye to Grandmother
Box 8.5 Ethical Considerations: Do People Have a Right to Die?
Box 8.6 Career Opportunities: Social Services and Mental Health

CHAPTER 9 eHealth, mHealth, and Telehealth
I. Information Haves and Have Notes
II. Why and When Do People Seek eHealth Information?
III. Is eHealth Information Useful to Everyday People?
IV. Is eHealth Information Useful to Care Providers?
V. Impact of eHealth
VI. mHealth
VII. Telehealth

Box 9.1 Ethical Considerations: The Pros and Cons of Telemedicine
Box 9.2 Career Opportunities: Health Information Technology

Part V. Communication in Health Organizations
Chapter 10 Health Care Administration, Human Resources, Marketing, and PR
I. Health Care Administration
II. Human Resources
III. Marketing and Public Relations
IV. Crisis Management
V. Service Excellence

Box 10.1 Career Opportunities: Health Communication Specialists
Box 10.2 Journals in the Field
Box 10.3 Staffing Shortages in Health Care

Figure 10.1 Inverted Pyramid

Part VI. Media, Public Policy, and Health Promotion
Chapter 11 Health Images in the Media
I. Theoretical Foundations
II. Advertising
III. News Coverage
IV. Media and Body Image
V. Entertainment
VI. Media Literacy

Box 11.1 Perspectives. Viagra Ads Promise Male Transformation
Box 11.2 Perspectives. Barbie: Feminist Icon or Woman as Sex Object?
Box 11.2 Perspectives: Boys' Toys on Steroids
Box 11.4 Ethical Considerations: Is the Entertainment Industry Responsible for Health Images?

Chapter 12 Public Health and Crisis Communication
I. What Is Public Health?
II. Risk and Crisis Communication
III. Crisis Communication Models and Guidelines
IV. Social Media and Crisis Communication
V. Case Studies: A Global Perspective

Box 12.1 Career Opportunities: Public Health
Box 12.2 Parents Grapple with Vaccine Information
Box 12.3 Theoretical Perspectives: Risk Management/Communication Framework
Box 12.4 Typhoid Mary and TB Andy
Box 12.5 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS: Who Should Be Protected?
Box 12.6 Lessons for Public Health and Crisis Communication

Chapter 13 Planning Health Promotion Campaigns
I. Background on Health Campaigns
II. Step 1: Defining the Situation and Potential Benefits
III. Step 2: Analyzing and Segmenting the Audience
IV. Step 3: Establishing Campaign Goals and Objectives
V. Step 4: Selecting Channels of Communication

Box 13.1 Career Opportunities: Health Promotion and Education
Box 13.2 Storytelling Connects Underserved Women and Care Providers
Box 13.3 Ethical Considerations: The Politics of Prevention

Chapter 14 Designing and Implementing Health Campaigns
I. Theories of Behaviors Change
II. Critical-Cultural Perspective
III. Step 5: Designing Campaign Messages
IV. Step 6: Piloting and Implementing the Campaign
V. Step 7: Evaluating and Maintaining the Campaign

Box 14.1. Ethical Considerations: Three Issues for Health Promoters to Keep in Mind
Box 14.2. Career Opportunities: Health Campaign Design and Management
Box 14.3. Theoretical Foundations: What Does Science Say About Peer Pressure?
Box 14.4. S-mething is Missing

Author Index
Subject Index

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