INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION FOR HEALTH
AND COMMUNICATION FOR
MATHEW T JOY
HOLY CROSS COLLEGE
• Acc. to the WHO, the health is the state of complete
physical ,psychological social and spiritual well-being and
not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.
• Health education is a term frequently used by health care
professionals. It aims at achieving individual and
community health. Health education is the translation of
what is known about health into desirable individual and
community behavior patterns by means of an educational
• Acc. to the WHO, health education
is like a general education which
is concerned with changes in
knowledge of people in its most
usual forms, it concentrates on
developing such practices as are
believed to bring the best
possible state of well-being.
• Definition by John M.Last, health
education as the presses by
which individuals and groups of
people learn to behave in a
manner conducive to promotion,
maintenance or restoration of
The declaration of alma ata (1978)
emphasized the need for individual
and community participation and
gave a new meaning and direction
to the practice of health education .
Def: A process aimed at encouraging
people to want to be healthy to
know how to stay healthy, to do
what they can individually and
collectively to maintain health and
to seek help when needed.
IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF
• Information: information that is relevant, interesting,
simple and understandable.
• Patient: the individual, family, group, people; what
they think, feel, do, their value system, readiness to
learn and bring in desired changes in their life style
• Social environment: social culture and economic
supports, barriers which may promote or inhibit
behavior changes for health promotion.
• Health education content: the content about health
and disease, favorable and non favorable life style,
environment, proper use of recourses and health
care facilities, etc.
• Communication methods: means for dissemination of
and receiving information that can help in
understanding, motivating and bringing in desired
changes of healthy leaving.
Aims of health education:
The definition adopted by WHO in 1969
and the Alma Ata declaration adopted
in 1978 provide a useful basis for
formulating the aims and objectives of
To help the people understand that
health is the most valuable community
asset, and to help them achieve
optimum health by their own activities
To develop a sense of responsibility
for improving their health as
individual members of families and
To develop scientific knowledge,
attitude, skills on health matters to
enable people to develop correct
To educate people for proper use of
health services in whatever forms it is
made available to them by the
To alter behavior that may have
directly or indirectly influenced the
occurrence or spread of diseases in a
given setting, a culturally relevant
health education program can be
planned only after understanding the
behavior in all its manifestations.
• Promoting the greater possible fulfilment
of inherited powers of the body and the
mind and happy adjustment of an
individual in the society.
• To provide a person with appropriate
knowledge to enjoy decent health and
also knowledge about the occurrence and
spread of disease thus enabling him to
adopt relevant preventive measures.
• To create in him an interest in his own
health and well-being.
• To create in him an interest for the health
of other members of his family as well
those living in his surroundings.
• To create in him a desire to support health
education programmes in his area.
OBJECTIVE OF HEALTH
• The main objectives of health education
– To inform people or disseminate scientific
knowledge about prevention of disease and
promotion of health.
– To motivate people to change their habits and
lifestyle that are harmful to their health and
also motivate people to adopt habits and
ways of living conducive to healthy living.
– To guide the people who need help to adopt
and maintain healthy practices and lifestyle
by showing proper community resources.
PRINCIPLES OF HEALTH
• Credibility of massage
• Creating interest among participants
• Motivating the participants
• Enhance comprehension of content
• Ensure reinforcement
• Encourage active participation
• Learning by doing
• Known to unknown
• Maintaining good human relations
• Setting an example
• Regular feedback
• Efficient leadership
SCOPES OF HEALTH EDUCATION
USE OF HEALTH
IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH EDUCATION
• The ultimate aim of health care is to promote, protect
and maintain health and not only treat the disease. The
requires people to have sufficient knowledge and bring
in a change in a health behavior. This is possible through
continuous and sustained health education.
• Shortened hospital stays with early ambulation requires
the preparation of patients and their family members for
their convalescence and care they may have to undergo
at home. This is done through health education as part of
the total nursing care from the time of admission till the
time of discharge.
• There has been increase in long term and chronic illnesses
and disabilities and both the patients and the families
require a thorough understanding of the disease, related
problems and treatment through well planned and
organized health education programmes.
• The consumer protection and human rights
movements imply the need and importance
of health education to become informed and
act according to existing situations.
• The goal of health for all and all the health
lays emphasis on self care, self help and
sufficiency, which determines the need for
health education to bring in a change in
health education, attitude and behavior.
• For effective utilization of services that are
planned and provided to the people through
infrastructure in rural and urban areas,
consumer participation is very important.
This is made possible through education of
people at large and specific groups in
PLANNING FOR THE HEALTH EDUCATION
Health education cannot be planned in a
It is planned in connection with a specific
health programme or health service. Therefore
the specifics of health education strategy in a
group have to be formulated in accordance with
its sociocultural, psychosocial, physical, economic
and situational characteristics.
The planner should be fully conversant with
the health education needed of the particular
programme for which health education is to be
It is essential to plan the health education
activities before they are implemented so that
desired objectives of the health education may
be achieved more appropriately and effectively.
KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN
WHAT WILL BE DONE ?
WHEN WILL IT BE DONE?
WHERE WILL IT BE DONE?
WHO WILL DO IT?
WHAT RESOURCES ARE REQUIRED?
PURPOSE OF PLANNING IN HEALTH
• Planning enables matching resources to the problem
intended to solve through health education.
• Planning helps in using resources more efficiently so that
the best use of scarce resources may be ensured.
• Planning helps in avoiding duplication of activities. For
example you would not offer health education on the same
topic to households at every visit.
• Planning helps in prioritizing needs and activities. This is
useful because the community may have a lot of problems
but not the resources or the capacity to solve all these
problems at the same time.
• Planning enables thinking about how to develop the best
methods to solve a problem.
Principles of planning in health education.
• Focus on actual current needs and
context of community.
• Plan for basic needs and interest of
• Planning with actual beneficiaries of
• Identify and use all relevant
• Follow principle of flexibility.
• A realistic plan not hypothetical.
ASSESS NEED IDENTIFY AND
SET GOALS AND
STEPS IN PLANNING HEALTH
HEALTH EDUCATION WITH INDIVIDUAL, GROUP
• HEALTH EDUCATION CAN BE
CARRIED OUT AT VARIOUS
• INDIVIDUAL LEVEL
• GROUP LEVEL
• COMMUNITY LEVEL
• MASS LEVEL
HEALTH EDUCATION WITH INDIVIDUAL
• Individual health education is an
important part of the health education
process by which includes the exchange
of opinions, feelings,ideas or information
with another person.
• Nurses are routinely engaged in
providing individual health education
their patients, patients family in hospital
as well as the community.
• It can be more powerful than other
methods of communication in bringing
about health related behavioural
• Individual health education
approach provides the opportunity
to create mutual understanding
between the two people: the one
providing the health education and
the receiver. They more closely
interact and give and receive
• It also creates the opportunity to
discuss problems that are sensitive
and need special handling, for ex.
Discussion on sexuality.
CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIVIDUAL LEVEL
• IT HELPS THE INDIVIDUALS TO LEARN AND
ASSIMILATE HEALTH INFORMATION TO MODIFY
CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOUR.
• IT MAY BE GIVEN IN PERSONAL INTERVIEWS IN THE
PHYSICIAN’S CONSULTATION ROOM OR IN THE
HEALTH CENTRE OR IN THE PEOPLE’S HOMES.
• INDIVIDUALS CAN BE TAUGHT ACCORDING TO
• IT MAY BE INCIDENTAL OR A WELL PLANNED
• IT CAN BE IN THE FAMILY, SCHOOL, HEALTH
CENTRES, CLINICS, OUTPATIENT DEPARTMENTS OR
• TOPICS CAN BE SELECTED ACCORDING TO THE
RELEVANCE OF THE SITUATION.
METHODS OF INDIVIDUAL HEALTH
• HOME VISIT
• PERSONAL CONTACT / COUNCELLING
• PERSONAL LETTER
ADVANTAGES OF INDIVIDUAL HEALTH
• The health educator can discuss,
argue and persuade the individual
to change his or her behavior.
• It provides an opportunity to ask
questions in terms of specific
• Individuals get an opportunity to
clarify their doubts more promptly
LIMITATIONS OF INDIVIDAUL HEALTH
• We can reach only a small number
of people who come in contact with
• It is time consuming and an
expensive methods of health
• It needs more efforts by the health
• Group health education may be a
useful way to deliver health
education messages in an
efficient manner. The group can
provide support and
encouragement to its members so
they are able to maintain healthy
• A well organized group permits
sharing of experiences and skills
so that people are able to learn
from each other this makes its
possible to pool the resources of
METHODS OF GROUP HEALTH EDUCATION
CONFERENCE AND SEMINARS
FIELD TRIP METHOD
HEALTH EDUCATION WITH COMMUNITY
• It is meant for defined community and its not
only to create awareness but also to help people
understand their health problems and need, find
alternative solutions to their problems and
needs, implement them, evaluate and get
feedback and accordingly do the needful.
• For health education at the community level, it is
better to approach local leaders who are
influential and who have the people’s
confidence. Theses may include local officers such
as patwari,numberdar, punchawat surpanch,
police officer or block development officer.
• Community level intervention combines the
community organization and social marketing
strategy that takes a systems approach.
• Although the intervention strategy is
community based, community level
interventions target specific population
not simply the community in general.
The patient populations have identified
shared risk behaviors for disease and
may also be identified by race, ethnicity,
gender, or other health related
Communicating health massages
• Communicating health massages or health
communication has become increasingly centered to
health promotion efforts in last 20 years. Health
communication is a very broad field of study that
includes analysis of the interaction between health
care providers and consumers in the delivery of care,
the way consumers seek relevant health
information, the provision of social support, the
preserving and sharing of health information using
different media and information terminologies, the
sharing of health information for informed health
care decisions making use of communication to
coordinate interdependent activities between the
health care providers, the administration of
personnel and resources within complex health
care systems and the development of health
communication campaign interventions for health
education and promotion.
• According to Everett Rogers, A
pioneer in the communication
field as any type of human
communication concerned with
health. Communication a health
message encompasses the study
and use of communication
strategies to inform and influence
individual and community
decisions that enhance health.
Factors contributing to the successful
communication of health messages
• Clarity of message: the massage should be
clear to the audience.
• Accuracy of massage:the massage delivered
for health education must be accurate and
fateful without the presence of any error.
• Availability of appropriate resources to
deliver the health massage: it must be
ensured that there is Availability of
appropriate resources for communicating
the health massage because the target
people must be able to have access and
availability of these resources to receive the
• Consistency in delivering the health
message: there must be a provision that the
health message is delivered consistency to
the target people so that their motivation
can help them achieve the desired goals or
objectives of health education.
• Health message must be cultural,
competent and appropriate: each society or
group of people as set cultural values;
therefore, it must be ensured that the health
message delivered in culturally appropriate
to avoid undue problems and hindrances of
health message delivery.
• Validity and reliability of the health
message: the health message to be
delivered must be valid and reliable
for the content and method of message
delivery so that desired purpose of
health education may be achieved.
• Constant repetition and re-
enforcement : there must be constant
repetition and re-enforcement for
communication of the health message
whenever required because that helps
in bringing a permanent change in the
health behavior of individuals who are
reluctant to accept the expected
change in their health behavior.
• Understandability of the health
message to be communicated: the
language and the content of the
health message to be delivered must
be understandable to the recipients so
that the desired purpose may be
• Feasibility of the health message: it
must be ensure that the health
message to be delivered is feasible in
terms of time, money and resource
• A realistic message: the messages
must be realistic.
THE MESSANGERS’ FACTORS CONTRIBUTING
TO THE SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION OF
THE HEALTH MESSAGE
1. PERCEIVED HONESTY
1. BEING SEMILAR
TO THE TARGET
METHODS AND MEDIA FOR COMMUNICATING
THE HEALTH MESSAGE
INDIVIDUAL/ GROUP METHOD
MASS METHODS AND MEDIA
interview, dialogue, personal
message or personal letter and
LECTURE METHOD: media used is
chalk and talk, flip charts,
flannel charts, exhibition charts,
seminars, role playing, field trip
method, skits, buzz sessions,
and open forum.
PERFORMING ARTS: music
songs, dramas, skits, puppet
shows, poetry, speech, gossips,
VISUAL ARTS : paintings, certain
printed literature, handicrafts
THE COMMON MEDIA USED ARE
: television, radio, internet,
printed material, direct material,
posters, health museum and
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