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Channels and Formats

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

Channels and formats determine how health information is communicated to the audience and thus play a critical role in health communication. The communication channel is the pathway through which information is delivered from the provider to the audience. Format, on the other hand, is the specific mode of presenting information to the audience. Health communication researchers have examined the strengths and weaknesses of different channels and formats in terms of reaching target groups, serving their needs, changing attitudes, and promoting healthful behavior.

Media Channels

Mass media such as television, radio, and newspapers are perhaps the most widely studied channels in health communication. Public service announcements (PSAs), advertisements, and news stories are typical formats for delivering health information through the mass media. Some formats are used more often ...

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