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Health Education

  • By: Anne P. Hubbell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The World Health Organization defines health education as “any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes.” Health education efforts have focused on issues such as: maternal health, health of children, smoking cessation, hypertension and related health issues, asthma, safe sex and/or abstinence, malaria, HIV/AIDS, immunizations, and more effective dental care.

In developing countries, the primary health education focus continues to be on reducing communicable diseases and improving mother and infant health. In more developed countries, individuals often have been vaccinated, have advanced treatment options, and live longer, so the health education programs have tended to focus on chronic health issues; this includes addressing issues such as asthma, health issues experienced by the ...

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