improving health across diverse groups differ from what we observe for these three areas. However, our selected cases represent major areas of national attention and provide the opportunity to examine different methodological, theoretical, and research approaches to the design and conduct of communication strategies to change health behavior. We note that communication strategies are sometimes only one part of multicomponent interventions (e.g., to improve health) that combine communication and resources or that intervene both at group and individual levels. In reviewing the literature, we attended to interventions that use communication strategies exclusively as well as to those that include such strategies as a major component.


The volume is intended to inform policy makers, researchers, funders/sponsors, advocacy organizations, practitioners, and others in providing and evaluating communication interventions to improve public health. It is organized into eight chapters. Chapter 2 provides a framework for the committee’s review and analysis by examining the contributions of behavior and communication theory to the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of health communication to diverse populations. Chapters 3 through 5 present the three exemplars—national campaigns, mammography, and diabetes mellitus. As noted, our review of the diabetes literature resulted in the conclusion that little systematic work has been done on communication campaigns to change behavior in this area. As a result, the committee presents a discussion of diabetes as a challenge for health communication developers in the future. Chapter 6 reviews the state of technology and assesses its potential. Chapter 7 discusses the problems associated with developing appropriate definitions of diversity and provides guidance for a new direction. Chapter 8 presents the committee’s findings and recommendations.

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