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Advocacy

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

Although health advocacy is practiced as health communication, this concept has not been widely studied or written about in the discipline. In the context of public health, it has been suggested that despite its roots in social justice, the lack of emphasis on advocacy may be due to confusion over the difference between advocacy and lobbying and concerns about advocacy efforts violating laws. In this entry, definitions and types of advocacy are presented, historical underpinnings are considered, ethics are discussed, pertinent advocacy skills are reviewed, and two communication approaches to structuring health advocacy are offered.

Definitions and Historical Underpinnings

The term advocacy is used broadly and in a variety of more specific ways. Social justice typically motivates advocacy, but the term may be used differently depending on ...

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