Health Communication : Theory, Method, and Application book cover
1st Edition

Health Communication
Theory, Method, and Application

ISBN 9780415824545
Published September 9, 2014 by Routledge
526 Pages

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Book Description

Health Communication provides coverage of the major areas of interest in the field of health communication, including interpersonal, organizational, and health media. It takes an in-depth approach to health communication research by analyzing and critically evaluating research conducted across multiple paradigmatic perspectives.

This edited textbook includes chapters covering such topics as:

  • interpersonal health communication issues, challenges, and complexities in health communication,
  • communication aspects of health behaviors and conditions,
  • organizational issues in health communication, and
  • media and eHealth research.

Chapters have been contributed by noted researchers and educators in health communication and represent the current state of the field. They offer pedagogical features that will prove useful to students and instructors of health communication, such as sidebars, summary boxes, suggestions for in-class activities, discussion questions, and lists of additional resources.

A companion website provides online resources for use with this text, including:

For students:

  • Test questions
  • Downloadable flash cards
  • Exam study guides

For instructors:

  • PowerPoint slides
  • Sample syllabi
  • Sample assignments

Developed for use in upper-level health communication courses, this text represents the breadth and depth of health communication theory and research as it exists today.

Table of Contents

1. Health Communication: An Introduction to Theory, Method, and Application Nancy Grant Harrington 

Section 1: People and Their Persepctives 

2. The Patient Experience Gretchen Norling Holmes, Nancy Grant Harrington 

3. Understanding Caregiver Challenges and Social Support Needs Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles, Joy Goldsmith, and Sara Shaunfield 

4. Providers' Perspectives on Health Communication: Influences, Processes, and Outcomes Melinda Villagran, Melinda Weathers 

5. Approaches to Studying Provider-Patient Communication Carma L. Bylund, Christopher J. Koenig 

6. Interprofessional Communication: Health Care Teams and Medical Interpreters Kevin Real, Marjorie Buckner 

Section 2: Challenges and Complexities in Health Communication 

7.  Factors Affecting the Patient Katharine J. Head, Elisia L. Cohen 

8. Social-Cultural Factors in Health Communication Evelyn Y. Ho

9. Risky Health Behaviors Among Adolescents and Young Adults, Pamela K. Cupp, Matthew W. Savage, Katharine Atwood, Melissa Abadi 

10. Mental Health and Illness, Nancy Grant Harrington, Ashley Duggan 

11. Ethical Issues in Health Communication Allison M. Scott, Nicholas T. Iannarino 

Section 3: Technology, Media, and eHealth 

12. New Technologies in Health Communication Nancy Grant Harrington, Katharine J. Head 

13. Media Effects and Health, Adam J. Parrish, Sarah C. Vos, Elisia L. Cohen 

14. Campaigns and Interventions Donald W. Helme, Matthew W. Savage, Rachael A. Record 

15. Internet and eHealth Seth M. Noar 

16. Risk and Crisis Communication, Shari R. Veil, Timothy L. Sellnow

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Nancy Grant Harrington is a professor in the Department of Communication and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Communication and Information at the University of Kentucky.


This edited book on health communication is quite innovative in that it is cast at three levels – text, reference, and guide book. It works on all three levels as it provides expert information and ideas that are multi-paradigmatic and broad in scope to facilitate readers as they take an active role in improving health outcomes. Sandi Smith, Director, Health and Risk Communication Center, Michigan State University

Written in an engaging and entertaining style, Nancy Harrington’s Health Communication covers numerous topics frequently unrepresented in health communication work. The metatheoretical emphasis is a strong contribution, and is consistently seen across the various chapters. It is unusual to see a focus on conflicting results in research, but the text again pleases the reader with such an inclusion. The sidebars, pictures, and examples are helpful, informative, and interesting, as are the discussion questions and exercises at the end of each chapter. After reading Harrington’s text, I feel much more prepared for a potential zombie-apocalypse; I think that the reader will also feel much more prepared to participate as a health consumer, provider, or practitioner/researcher. This is a good read and a helpful resource. Teresa Thompson, Professor of Communication, University of Dayton