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Talking about Health: Why Communication Matters

ISBN: 978-1-4051-7756-6
208 pages
May 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Talking about Health: Why Communication Matters (140517756X) cover image
Written by an award-winning researcher and professor whose work straddles the fields of communication and healthcare, Talking About Health explores the importance of health communication in the 21st century, and how it affects us all.
  • Organized around six key questions about health and communication:  How ‘Normal’ am I? What are My ‘Risk’ Factors? Why Don’t We Get ‘Care’? Is the Public Good ‘Good’ for Me? Who Profits from My Health? and What’s Politics Got to Do with It?
  • Provides readers with specific tools which which to better navigate the healthcare system
  • Translates what we know about communication and health into useful guidelines for everyday practice
  • Includes discussions of politics and healthcare, genetic testing, and alternative care
  • The author's blog http://whyhealthcommunication.com/whc_blog/ focuses on why communicating about health can make a difference in our health and our quality of life
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Preface.

1. Why Communicating about Health Matters.
It Answers the Question, "Who Am I?"
It Answers the Question, "Who’s Responsible?"
It Opens the Gate for "Resources"
It Promotes (Mis)Understanding
It Guides Effort, Emotion, and Excuse
Summing It Up …

2. How "Normal" Am I?
Compared to the Numbers
Compared to the Stories
When It Comes to Poor Health
When Choosing Alternative Treatments
When We Don’t Want to Know
Summing It Up …

3. What Are My "Risk" Factors?
Our Response to Reward Cues
Our Response to Punishment Cues
How We View Novelty
When We Procrastinate
What God Has to Do with It
Summing It Up …

4. Why Don’t We Get "Care"?
Our Doctors Didn’t Recommend It
Family or Friends Don’t Support It
We Use Support Networks
We’re Managing Impressions
We’re too Optimistic or Fatalistic
Summing It Up …

5. Is the "Public Good" Good for Me?
When We Have to "Tell"
When Our Freedoms Are Limited
When Safety Clashes with (E)Quality
What Nonprofits Have to Do with It
Why Public Health Matters
Summing It Up …

6. Who Profits from My Health?
Pharma-, Cosme-, and Nutri-ceuticals
The News, It Is an Industry
The Entertainment Industry
Band-Aids, Crutches and More – Oh My!
Who Benefits from Our Health Illiteracy?
Summing It Up …

7. What’s Politics Got to Do with It?
Medical Research and Disparities
Political Agenda-setting and Priorities
Religious Agendas and Priorities
Medical Associations and Lobbyists
Patient Advocacy
Summing It Up …

8. An Agenda for the Twenty-first Century: Increase Informed Choice and Consent, or "If I Ran the Circus …"
Make "Personalized Medicine" Personal
Be Timely in the Telling
Fill in the Blanks
Track Your Health Report (… and Your Credit Report, Too)
Stay Out of "The Big Muddy"
Summing It Up …
A Final Thought

References.

Index.

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Roxanne Parrott is Distinguished Professor at Pennsylvania State University, holding joint appointments in the Communication Arts & Sciences and the Health Policy & Administration departments. She is also a faculty member in the College of Medicine, for the Homeland Security Program.
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  • Presents 30 specific actions that each of us can take to improve our personal outcomes linked to communicating about health
  • Provides readers with specific tools which which to better navigate the healthcare system
  • Translates what we know about communication and health into useful guidelines for everyday practice
  • Organized around six key questions about health and communication
  • Includes discussions of politics and healthcare, genetic testing, and alternative care
  • The author's blog http://whyhealthcommunication.com/whc_blog/ focuses on why communicating about health can make a difference in our health and our quality of life
See More
"The book is an engaging, informative read that packages health communication issues in a unique and usable way. Personal, informative, comprehensive, and integrated." (Taylor Francis Online, 19 January 2011)

"This book has the added bonus of educating people about palliative care, including how to develop an advanced directive, the way to maintain a "health report," and how to manage one's health profile. It offers multiple references for each chapter that would be helpful to readers wanting more detailed information. Additionally, it could also assist health care professionals who want to increase their communication skills." (CHOICE, December 2009)"Parrot melds her expertise in communications and health policy and administration … .Accessible and full of Parrot family anecdotes." (The Penn Stater, January 2010)

"Roxanne Parrott’s thoughtful treatment of 'why communication matters' identifies challenges and opportunities in 'talking about health' during this time of increasing consumer engagement and responsibility in health and health care." (PsycCRITIQUES, November 2009)

"Roxanne Parrot has successfully combined her expertise as the most respected health communication scholar and teacher in the discipline with her ongoing roles as daughter, mother, sister and grandmother to produce this extraordinary book placing competent communication at the heart of our health care challenges. Talking about Health is an enjoyable, must read for all of us as we cope with our health challenges and attempt to make wise health decisions across the life span." Jon F. Nussbaum, Penn State University

"This book can make a difference in people’s lives. I value and applaud Dr. Parrott’s use of her knowledge, experience, and insight to write a book that empowers people to take charge of their health through communication. This book is timely and necessary—a smart book that makes the reader smarter." Professor Maureen Keeley, Texas State University

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