Communicating Health

an action guide to health education and health promotion 

Dr Simon Hubley 

www.hubley.co.uk


 This book is aimed at those of you who find yourselves in a position where you are having to plan programmes to improve the health of your communities. I hope to present you with a 'state of the art' view of the best of what is currently practised in developing countries as well as approaches from industrialised countries. While a great deal is talked about health education and health promotion, they are often poorly understood and not done very well. In this book I have tried to explore some of the reasons why health education programmes have failed in the past and provide practical guidelines for strengthening communication components of your health education and health promotion programmes.

Chapter 1 introduces health education and health promotion and Chapters 2-4 act as core further chapters. Further details of particular methods are given in Chapters 5-10 and the final chapter provides guidelines on planning, evaluation and implementation. You should look upon the content of this book as guidelines rather than a set of rules. What may work in one community may not work in another. But if you apply these methods in a systematic way, involve the communities you are working with, evaluate and learn from mistakes, you should be able to improve the effectiveness of your activities.  The amount of information that can be provided in a book of this short length is inevitably limited. For those wishing to read further, I have prepared an appendix with a list of readily available books, most of which are supplied by Teaching Aids at Low Cost. Health education and health promotion are fast-moving subjects with many exciting new developments. To help you follow these I have given details of a range of newsletters and journals, many of which are free to persons from developing countries. I have also provided addresses of resource agencies who might be able to help you in your work. I would be happy to hear from you about the work you are doing and receive comments on this book. Good luck in your work! 

                                            Contents of Chapters

1. Introducing Health Education and Health Promotion

Health problems in developing countries; The new health problems. Influences on health; Role of human behaviour. Human behaviour in prevention of disease. Behavioural diagnosis; Critique of behaviour change approach; Health promotion and the Ottawa Charter; Ethics of health promotion and behaviour change; Health education; Communication in health promotion and health promotion ., Summary. 

2. Understanding human behaviour

Empathy - understanding other people's perspectives, Defining the behaviour, Behavioural intention and enabling factors, Social pressure,  Culture and behaviour, Health -  an ancient concept rooted in culture, Values,, Beliefs; How beliefs are formed; The Health Belief Model. Attitudes and Fishbein, Putting it all together to plan health education and health promotion, Summary.

3. An introduction to communication

Communication stages; Components of communications; Receiver (audience); Source; The communication message. The nature of the advice given. The type of appeal. Formats; Actual content of message. How does the message content influence attention? Perception and understanding; Channel; Comparison of mass media and face-to-face communication methods; Deciding what communication method to use. Summary of the communication planning process .

4. The effective teacher

Deciding what should be included in the teaching; Task analysis and specifying the kinds of learning. Knowledge and decision-making skills. Communication skills. Psychomotor skills. Attitudes; Setting objectives; Some guidelines for promoting of learning. Role play. Problem-solving exercises; Case studies and simulations. Games; Using learning aids to improve your teaching. Demonstrations with real objects and models; Using pictures in health education. Flannelgraphs. Slides. Films and videos. The overhead projector; Putting it all together - planning a lesson; Organising training programmes and workshops; Summary.

5. Face-to-face

Non-verbal communication; One-to-one; Counselling; Promoting effective one-to-one communication; Working with groups; Problems in group functioning; Group dynamics; Patient education; Teaching and learning face-to-face communication skills; Summary.

6.Working with communities

Concept of community participation; What benefits come from community participation?; Concept of needs; Community participation as a process; Participatory learning and education for critical awareness; Using lay workers and volunteers ; Planning for community participation; Summary - conditions for successful community participation programmes.                  

7. Communication - the people's way!

What are traditional, folk and popular media? Storytelling; Drama and popular theatre; Puppets; Songs; Visual art; Other popular media; Some problems in using popular media.Summary.

8. Using media

The media revolution; How effective are mass media? Choice of formats; Entertainment-education; Social marketing - can health be sold as a product? Influencing the media. Combining mass media with face-to-face education; Practical broadcasting technique: tape recorder; microphone; editing. Print media; Summary.

9. Working with children and young people

Special considerations with children and young people; Physical development. Social, emotional and language development. Intellectual development; Adolescence; Health education and the pre-school child; Why Are schools important for health? The school health education programme. Learning methods for school health education; Health education in primary and secondary schools. The Child-to-Child Programme; Setting up a school health programme; Reaching children out-of-school; street Children; Summary - promoting the health of children and young people

10. Politics and health

Nutrition and food policy; Intersectoral collaboration; Health and safety at work; Tobacco and smoking; The promotion of bottlefeeding by the infant food industry; The promotion of non-essential drugs by multi-national companies; Forms of protest and action; Summary.

11. Putting it into practice

The planning process; Aims and objectives; Research in health education and health promotion. Needs assessment and making a community profile; The research process; Qualitative and quantitative research. Sources of Data. Planning a survey; Evaluation; Preparing a workplan; Plan documents and project proposals; Preparing a project proposal; Managing the programme; Setting up a resource centre; Summary.


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