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Writing Health Communication
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Writing Health Communication
An Evidence-based Guide

Edited by:

January 2012 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Research has shown that information given to patients and materials designed to influence health behaviour often fail to achieve their aims. As a result, health professionals need proven strategies to ensure that information is selected, designed and presented appropriately for the target audience. In response, Writing for Health Communication provides a practical guide to designing health information, using evidence-based strategies to engage, inform and persuade different audiences.

The book outlines the steps a writer needs to go through in creating successful materials. Starting with an understanding of how people read and process information and how behaviour is influenced, the book then covers the practicalities of

" Choosing an approach

" Message framing

" Text design and layout

" Using graphics

" Computer tailoring

Each chapter is illustrated with examples - including both good and bad practice and covering a range of health topics. For students and professionals in healthcare, health promotion, health education and public health, Writing for Health Communication is an invaluable guide to best practice.


Marieke Kools and Charles Abraham
Introduction: Steps Towards Writing Effective Educational Text
James Hartley
Designing Easy-To-Read Text
Marieke Kools
Making Written Materials Easy to Understand
Marieke Kools
Making Written Materials Easy to Use
Patricia Wright
Using Graphics Effectively in Text
Charles Abraham
Developing Evidence-based Content for Health Promotion Materials
Charles Abraham
Mapping Change Mechanisms onto Behaviour Change Techniques: A Systematic Approach to Promoting Behaviour Change Through Text
Robert A.C. Ruiter and Gerjo Kok
Planning to Frighten People? Think Again!
Mariek Q. Werrij, Robert A.C. Ruiter, Jonathan van 't Riet and Hein de Vries
Message Framing
Johannes Brug and Anke Oeema
Computer-tailoring of Health Promotion Messages
Charles Abraham and Marieke Kools
Conclusions and Recommendations

Too much detail for the students on the course

Miss Kathryn Bould
Dental Institute, King's College London
March 5, 2015

This was a clear, well written text. It provides very useful practical advice for anyone working in health related fields embarking on work communicating with people whether at an individual or population level. As such it would be useful for those in the world of work and those in education. It could be very useful for students in nursing, allied health and medical training, undergraduate and post graduate courses. the content is well supported by theory explanations and discussions.
There are useful ethical considerations - I like the chapter abotu fear. the bite sized summaries of chapters at the end were very useful

Dr Angela Tod
Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University
June 28, 2012

This text, in part, plugs the gap that health promtion students find when the less tangible aspects of message communication are discussed and the lecturer has taken them to the edge of the evidence base! Presenting material is key to social marketing and this text will help with the basics in communicating persuasively.

Mr William Spence
Public Health & Health Policy, Glasgow University
May 8, 2012

Nice book with good anecdotes!

Dr Rutger De Graaf
Department of Communication Science, University of Amsterdam
May 6, 2012

A really useful text, providing helpful and usable advice on how to communicate well on health issues. I like the fact that the final chapter briefly summarizes the earlier content.

Professor Antony Stewart
Faculty of Health and Sciences, Staffordshire University
April 12, 2012

This is a well written and well produced book with a variety of thought-proking ideas about ways of presenting information. It's not a book on writing about the doing of a practice such as counselling, for example. I would say it it for those producing teaching materials, publicity, information and for those purposes it is very good. I have only recommended it as supplemmental because it will be useful to some but not all of the students on my courses.

Dr GAIL SIMON
The Relate Institute, The Relate Institute
February 16, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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ISBN: 9781847871862
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