Health communication is the discipline that studies and develops appropriate communication strategies to inform individuals and communities about ways to enhance health. It is used at all levels of disease prevention and health promotion and can contribute to improving health and delaying disease, disability, and death. Health communication can be used to: (1) improve patient-provider relationships, (2) assist individuals to search for and use reputable health information and services, (3) enable individuals to adhere to provider recommendations, (4) develop and evaluate public health messages and campaigns, (5) assess health images in the media, (6) and distribute information to those at risk.

Delores C. S. James


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2000). Healthy People 2010, Conference Edition, in Two Volumes. Washington, DC: U.S. Public Health Service.