4 Stages to Effectively Drive Behaviors with the Use of Health Communication

Health professionals are constantly seeking approaches to better communicate with their patients and clients with the intention of improving health behaviors. A recent SurroundHealth article by member and community contributor, Feon Cheng, RD, MPH, discusses the “Health Communication Program Cycle,” which focuses program developers on ensuring that health communication meets the needs of intended audiences and effectively drives intended behaviors.

Here are the first 2 stages…check out the full article to see all 4 stages!

Stage 1: Planning and Strategy Development

  • Define and learn about your audience
  • Identify the health issue, gaps, and potential solutions
  • Set communication goals and objectives

→Need tips for writing effective goals? Check these out.

  • Explore and select health communication settings and strategies

→  Learn more about using technology as a platform for health communication

  • Decide whether you want to collaborate with others on your effort
  • Develop and draft a communication plan

→   Here’s a template to help you get started

Stage 2: Developing and Pretesting

  • Explore existing materials and identify gaps

→  Where can you find ideas? Start with universities, health departments, and health professional organizations

  • Develop materials

→   A few things to consider:

      • Are your materials theoretically based?
      • Are your materials understandable for your audience? Here are some health literacy tools to help.
      • Are you materials culturally appropriate?
  • Test materials with your intended audience and revise accordingly

What comes next? Find out by visiting us on SurroundHealth today!

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