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What is Health Communication? “Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.” -Yiddish proverb Overview of Class • Definition of Health • Difference between disease and illness* • What is communication? • Assumptions of communication • Definition of Health Communication • Examine aspects of various definitions* • What can health communication NOT do* • Health Information Presentation • About assignment What is Health? • Find a partner • Describe what health is to this partner • While your partner is talking, take notes What is Health? • Aspects of Health • • • • Physical Mental Social well-being Spiritual • Process of Health • Absence of disease or pain? • Continuous process? Health Definitions • “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” • World Health Organization, 2006 • Criticism: Does health = happiness? Is this definition too broad? • Discussion Question: What is the difference between health and happiness? Health Definitions • “Ideally, health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. However, health is more commonly experienced as the absence of physical, mental, social disease, or illness and should be considered a basic, universal human right.” • Book definition, p. 16 • Discussion Question: Is health a basic, human right? Why or why not? A key concept in health communication is the difference between disease and illness. Sharf & Vanderford (2003) Disease refers to the physical manifestations of a condition. Sharf & Vanderford (2003) Illness encompasses the physical, emotional, social, communicative, and psychological experience. Relationships Communication Sharf & Vanderford (2003) What is Communication? • DQ: What are some aspects of communication that might be in a definition? Assumptions of Communication • Meanings are in people, not in words • Communication is a process • Communication is a transactional process • Communication is the relationship • Most communication is nonverbal • Effective communication skills are learned Health Communication Definitions • What is your definition of health communication? • “Health communication is the multifaceted study and use of effective, ethical approaches to share information and motivate audiences at the individual, organization, and community levels about health issues and decisions that enhance health” • Book definition, p. 25 Aspects of Health Communication Definitions • To inform and influence (individual and community decisions) • Motivating individuals • Change behaviors • Increase knowledge and understanding of health-related issues • Empower people • Exchange, interchange of information, two-way dialogue Schiavo (2007) What Health Com CANNOT do • Replace lack of infrastructure, capability, or money • Compensate for lack of adequate treatment, diagnosis, or preventative options • Be equally effective in relaying all messages or addressing all issues • Health Communication ≠ Health Behavior • Teach you everything you need to know about health and being healthy Schiavo (2007) Health Com as nexus is the belief that health communication serves as a crucial linking pin between various areas of health. Health Information Presentation • Due: • Topic by Jan 20th • Presentations on Jan 27th & Jan 29th • 6-8 minute presentation • Pick a health issue • Describe the health issue, it’s physical, mental/emotional, and social aspects • Common experiences of those with this illness • Role of communication in the illness experience • Information posted on Canvas Take Away Points • Definition of: Health, Illness, Disease • What are the communication assumptions we are making for this class? • What are the aspects of health communication definitions? • What can health communication not do? Be able to recognize an example of when health communication cannot solve a problem.