Why is effective communication important in health, and what does this involve? What issues arise when communicating with particular populations, or in difficult circumstances? How can the communication skills of health professionals be improved? Effective health communication is now recognised to be a critical aspect of healthcare at both the individual and wider public level. Good communication is associated with positive health outcomes, whereas poor communication is associated with a number of negative outcomes. This book assesses current research and practice in the area and provides some practical guidance for those involved in communicating health information. It draws on material from several disciplines, including health, medicine, psychology, sociology, linguistics, pharmacy, statistics, and business and management. The book examines: The importance of effective communication in health; Basic concepts and processes in communication; Communication theories and models; Communicating with particular groups and in difficult circumstances; Ethical issues; Communicating with the wider public and health promotion; and, Communication skills training. Health Communication is key reading for students and researchers who need to understand the factors that contribute to effective communication in health, as well as for health professionals who need to communicate effectively with patients and others. It provides a thorough and up to date, evidence-based overview of this important topic, examining the theoretical and practical aspects of health communication for those whose work involves communication with patients, relatives and other carers.
Dianne Berry is Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Reading. She has previously published Risk, Communication and Health Psychology for the Health Psychology series at Open University Press. Her interests include perception and communication of risk information, health education and communication, human learning, memory and decision making.