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Health communication involves the use of communication to facilitate the health and well-being of individuals and groups. This includes the study of health, illness, and disease messages, the meanings associated with those messages, and the discourses surroundings those meanings. Health communication research examines contexts from the interpersonal level, including health behaviors and understandings, to the institutional level, such as health care delivery and the role of mass media. As a subfield within the communication discipline, health communication has grown apace with societal developments, including aging populations facing chronic illnesses, an emphasis on prevention of illness and disease in an era of managed care, and the widespread use of technology to disseminate and consume health information.

This entry uses the concept of the health message as a ...

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