Excerpt for discussion from my article in Global Health Communication

Since the key to effective health communication lies in its ability to communicate well, some of its core problems are those that relate to the sharing of meaning between communicators. In elaborating on these problems, this paper offers two key propositions: one, health communication has to pass through the filter of a particular world view that creates a discrepancy between expected and actual message reception and response. Two, the assumption of a rational human actor made implicitly by most health psychological models is a contestable issue, as many times message recipients do not follow a cognitive judgment process. The phenomenon of resisting health messages by reasonable people asks the question whether we ought to rethink our adherence to a particular vision of human health as many times the adverse reaction to behaviour modification occurs as the result of a particular dialogical or discursive situation. At the same time, most motivational decisions in people’s daily routines are automatic and use a concept known as self-identity to give stability to their behaviour patterns. Finally, health communication as part of organised government practices adheres to predominant value perspectives within health promotion practice that affect the manner in which health issues become problematised.It is worthwhile to think about a humanistic model that aims to pay attention to the intricacies of human communication by addressing all of the above problems in turn. This would help to interpret the sharing of meaning element in human communication and address the question of how the idea of health is created through discourse.

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