Principles and Practices
- Published: July 2019
For Professors: Exam Copies
- Buying Options
Health Communication: Principles and Practices provides medical students and other allied health professionals and health practitioners with a framework for understanding and applying communication skills in the context of medical education and health education in health settings. This volume provides an integration of knowledge, attitude and behavioural learning outcomes, and of principles with practices. This integration is presented through a range of theoretical, research and practical activities including ethical and reflective perspectives. Godfrey A. Steele provides a step-by-step framework for teaching and delivering a curriculum in medical communication skills. This framework will be of value to all those involved in teaching, learning and developing communication skills among doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, and health education and health-promotion specialists.
This volume is a distinctive addition to the literature on medical communication skills offered by other textbooks. Steele reviews the literature from an interdisciplinary perspective and considers the curriculum of medical communication skills outside of the traditional metropolitan areas. He includes a collection of materials relevant to tropical medicine, the Caribbean and the Global South and draws upon his experience in designing curricula, teaching, researching and publishing in this field since 1995.
PART 1 Communication Skills for Health Personnel Health Communication Models of Health Communication Health Communication Competence and Skills Oral Communication Skills in Health Written Communication Skills in Health Managing Group Communication and Conflict in Health
PART 2 Communication Skills for the Health Professions Communication and Counselling in Health Managing Bad News and Difficult Situations in Health Settings Educating Patients and Learning from Patients Educating Colleagues and Learning from Colleagues in Health Settings Communication with the Public and Targeted Segmented Audiences Newer Technology Trends and the Future of Health Communication Review and Conclusion: Integrating Principles and PracticesAppendix 1 Sample Course COMS 1001 Appendix 2 Sample Course COMS 1102 Appendix 3 Professionalism, Ethics and Communication in Health Index
This textbook provides medical students and other allied health professionals with a framework for understanding and applying communication skills in the context of medical education and health education in health settings.
For the first time, the textbook provides a step-by-step framework for teaching and delivery of a curriculum in medical communication skills. This framework will be of relevance to university-level courses in medical communication skills, continuing medical education, the training and development of communication skills among doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, and health education and promotion specialists. It may be used as a companion to Health Communication in the Caribbean and Beyond: A Reader published by UWI Press in 2011.
This text not only adds to the literature on medical communication skills offered by other textbooks, but is also characterized by the following distinguishing features. The text:
• reviews the literature from an interdisciplinary perspective;
• treats the curriculum of medical communication skills outside of the traditional metropolitan areas and includes for the first time a collection of materials relevant to tropical medicine and the Caribbean;
• draws upon the author’s experiences over a twenty-year period of designing, teaching, researching and publishing in this field; and
• combines material from local, regional and international sources.
This health communication textbook provides a comprehensive, well-researched and up-to- date discussion of the local, regional and international health communication literature and provides a theoretical and practical framework for teaching health and medical communication skills. It describes, explains and applies health communication theoretical concepts and principles, and provides practical contexts for their application in the classroom and in the health professions drawing on the research literature.
This text also provides a detailed treatment of health communication principles and practices using data from several database sources. The text incorporates health communication research findings and teaching learning experiences from developing and developed countries and provides opportunities for comparison and learning in diverse social and professional health contexts. This approach allows students and teachers from countries outside of North America, Europe and Australia to view health communication from Caribbean, Latin American, African and Asian perspectives. Readers are encouraged to consider the communication challenges and issues as they apply to their particular situations.
The text may be used in a two-semester programme in health communication such as the one taught since 1995 at the University of the West Indies (UWI) at St Augustine and other schools and may be supplemented by additional readings and resources. The UWI programme includes compulsory courses in the programme for Professionalism, Ethics and Communication for Health (PECH). These Year 1 courses include: PECH 1001, The Health Professional and Society (semester 1); PECH 1101, Communication Skills for Health Sciences (semester 2); and PECH 1102, Practicum (semesters 1 and 2). In Year 2, PECH 2101, Communication Skills and Healthcare Interactions (semester 1) is taught. The PECH programme replaced the former programme in Health Communication Skills for Medical Sciences, which included courses such as COMS 1001, Health Communication Skills for Health Personnel (semester 1) and COMS 1002, Health Communication Skills for the Health Professions (semester 2). Please see the appendices.
Part 1 explores the concept of health communication from various perspectives and discusses principles of health communication focusing on basic and advanced health communication skills used at interpersonal, group and organizational levels and in oral, written, verbal, and nonverbal contexts, and features ethical issues. Part 2 focuses on the application of health communication skills to the analysis and management of communication challenges, and professionalism and ethical issues in health settings.
It is suitable for use by a wide range of health professionals with an interest in understanding and developing health communication skills at the undergraduate and continuing medical education levels. The text was developed on the basis of the author’s teaching experience in this field and was supplemented and enriched by the author’s interactions and visits with health professional educators and health communication educators in Philadelphia, New York, Toronto, London, and participants in the Salzburg Seminar Session 400 on Health Professions Education of 2002 in Austria. Early support for this project was provided by the University of the West Indies, St Augustine through a modest, initial grant for data collection and a semester’s academic leave to prepare the manuscript. I thank the University of the West Indies St Augustine Campus Research Fund for its support for the publication of this book, and I value the interest shown by the then campus coordinator for graduate studies and research, Professor Patricia Mohammed and her staff. I thank them for their guidance and administrative support.
The book is divided into two parts. Each chapter is organized around a list of objectives, an introductory case or stimulus material, and is followed by a discussion/review of principles and concepts, practical examples and research applications of concepts. Each chapter provides exercises, resources and references for further study. Additionally, a review of each chapter, a recap of key concepts and issues, reflections and further activities and readings are provided in chapter 13.
Users (students, instructors and researchers) may use appropriate segments of chapter 13 to review and reflect upon the content of the preceding chapters. This may be done in a periodic and cumulative fashion after each chapter, or at the end after reading and discussing chapters 1 – 12. For example, chapters 1 – 6 in part 1 may be used in an introductory course and the appropriate sections in chapter 13 could be used to review, consolidate and integrate principles and practices treated separately in chapters 1 – 6. Chapters 7 – 12 in part 2 may be used in a second course together with the appropriate sections in chapter 13 in similar fashion as in the first course.
Part 1 focuses on the principles and concepts that health personnel need to understand about health communication.
Chapter: 1 Health Communication
This chapter provides an overview of the field of health communication. Some practical examples of the use of the term “health communication” and various definitions of health communication are provided. Topics such as studying health communication, models of health communication, health communication competence and skills, oral communication skills, written communication skills and managing group communication and conflict in health are introduced. These topics are developed in detail in subsequent chapters (2 – 6). The chapter explores uses of the term “health communication,” explains health communication definitions and discusses areas of health communication and emphases in the study of health communication.
Chapter 2: Models of Health Communication
This chapter describes various models of health communication. Some models of health communication are of a general nature, while others have a specific focus depending on the concerns of the model. Readers explore characteristics of health communication models applied to various contexts and are encouraged to study health communication challenges and issues and evaluate the suitability of these models.
Chapter 3: Health Communication Competence and Skills
This chapter explores the concept of communication competence in health, discusses the range of communication skills associated with communication competence and addresses the challenges and contexts of communication in health.
Chapter 4: Oral Communication Skills in Health
This chapter explores the concept of oral communication competence in health. It discusses the range of oral communication skills associated with medical interviewing and history taking, the medical consultation and oral presentations, and addresses the challenges and contexts of using oral communication in health settings.
Chapter 5: Written Communication Skills in Health
This chapter explores the concept of written communication competence in health. It discusses the range of written communication skills associated with medical writing, academic writing and written support for presentations. It also addresses the challenges and contexts of using written communication in health settings.
Chapter 6: Managing Group Communication and Conflict in Health
This chapter explores the role of interpersonal, group/teamwork, organizational communication and the management of conflict and communication in health. It discusses the range of communication skills required for dealing with conflict at interpersonal, group/ teamwork and organizational levels of communication in health. Readers will be able to review strategies for managing conflict and learn from the experience of others and from working with other persons, groups and teams in health care settings. There will be opportunities to practise working together in pairs, groups and teams to make presentations, and manage and solve problems, where possible. This chapter also addresses the challenges and contexts of communicating and managing conflict between persons, in groups and teams and in organizations in health settings. These challenges are reviewed in light of interpersonal and organizational communication and conflict research.
Part 2 focuses on the application of health communication skills to the analysis and management of communication challenges, professionalism and ethical issues in health settings.
Chapter 7: Communication and Counselling in Health
This chapter explores the meaning of counselling in the context of the provision of social support in health. It discusses the range of communication skills required for providing counselling and social support at various levels of communication: interpersonal, group/ teamwork and organizational in health. You will be able to review counselling and social support strategies for communicating with other persons, groups and teams in health care settings.
Chapter 8: Managing Bad News and Difficult Situations in Health Settings
This chapter explores the management of bad news and difficult situations in health settings. It discusses the range of communication skills required to manage bad news and difficult situations in health. You will be able to review strategies, steps and techniques for delivering bad news and managing difficult situations in health care settings.
Chapter 9: Educating Patients and Learning from Patients
The New South Wales health website defines health education as being “consciously constructed opportunities for learning involving some form of communication designed to improve health literacy, including improving knowledge, and developing life skills which are conducive to individual and community health” (New South Wales, 2006; http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/public-health/health-promotion/abouthp/glossary.html). Essentially this definition states that health education from a patient perspective involves being given access to knowledge and information in order to make informed health decisions. Although health education has been stereotypically viewed as a facility for patients only, and it is assumed that providers have all the knowledge, this chapter looks at the ways in which providers can learn from their patients as well.
Chapter 10: Educating Colleagues and Learning from Colleagues in Health Settings
This chapter explores communication among health professionals in health settings. First, it outlines and discusses seven main areas of communication among health professionals. These areas focus on interpersonal professional communication related to preparation and practice through (1) collaboration, (2) interprofessional education and (3) teamwork. In addition, this chapter explores more public academic and professional communication among colleagues in health relating to sharing and dissemination knowledge through (4) case conferencing, (5) conducting and writing the research report, (6) presenting the research report and (7) using audiovisual support to present research and clinical cases.
Chapter 11: Communication with the Public and Targeted Segmented Audiences
This chapter explores communication among health professionals and members of the public and targeted segmented audiences in health settings. First, it outlines and discusses four main areas of communication among health professionals and public and targeted segmented audiences. These areas focus on the functions of mass media communication, crisis management, the role of the Internet, and the use of health promotion strategies and activities. Next, it reviews the creation of a health campaign and uses material from an actual case study. Finally, this chapter explores the relationship between health professionals and the media. It considers opportunities for health professionals to interact and partner with the media and other agencies to communicate with the public and targeted segmented audiences about health information and messages.
Chapter 12: Newer Technology Trends and the Future of Health Communication
This chapter extends the discussion of communicating with the public and targeted segmented audiences (chapter 11). It begins with a focus on the use of social media and newer technologies such as eHealth and mHealth to communicate about health with the public and targeted segmented audiences. Second, this chapter invites readers to consider the future of health communication influenced by issues related to the use of social media and newer technologies such as global health, global health promotion and the development of a universal human health communication model founded on a universal human communication theory.
Chapter 13: Review and Conclusion: Integrating Principles and Practices
This chapter summarizes and reviews key concepts, and encourages questions and discussion on consistent themes in chapters 1 – 12. Each chapter is discussed separately using the themes listed below. Each chapter has sections including a review, key concepts, reflections, further reading, further reflection and further practice. Each chapter integrates health communication principles and practices. Each chapter’s health communication principles and practices are linked to applied readings and situations in the health sector. In chapter 13 examples of principles are provided in the review of chapters 1–6, but not chapters 7–12. This is so because chapters 7–12 focus on applied contexts in professional contexts and not the principles associated with the foundation knowledge and skills in undergraduate and pre-clinical contexts. Opportunities for interdisciplinary and interprofessional teamwork are presented and discussed.
Appendices (Sample courses)
Sample Programme: Health Communication Skills for Medical Sciences
COMS 1001 Health Communication Skills for Health Personnel (semester 1)
COMS 1002 Health Communications Skills for the Health Professions (semester 2)
Professionalism, Ethics and Communication in Health
PECH 1001 The Health Professional and Society (semester 1)
PECH 1101 Communication Skills for Health Sciences (semester 2)
PECH 1102 Practicum (semester 1 and 2)
PECH 2101 Communication Skills and Healthcare Interactions (semester 1)
Past Examination Questions in Health Communication