Research has shown that information given to patients and materials designed to influence health behaviour often fail to achieve their aims. As a result, health professionals need proven strategies to ensure that information is selected, designed and presented appropriately for the target audience. In response, Writing for Health Communication provides a practical guide to designing health information, using evidence-based strategies to engage, inform and persuade different audiences.
The book outlines the steps a writer needs to go through in creating successful materials. Starting with an understanding of how people read and process information and how behaviour is influenced, the book then covers the practicalities of
Choosing an approach; Message framing; Text design and layout; Using graphics; Computer tailoring
Each chapter is illustrated with examples - including both good and bad practice and covering a range of health topics. For students and professionals in healthcare, health promotion, health education and public health, Writing for Health Communication is an invaluable guide to best practice.
Chapter 9: Message Framing
To maximise persuasive impact, health-promoting messages usually should contain carefully selected arguments that match specific change targets and include particular behaviour change techniques (see Chapters 6 and 7). This chapter aims at making you aware that it is not only layout and presentation of messages (see Chapters 2–5) and their content (see e.g., Chapters 6–8) but also the precise wording of messages can have an impact on the persuasiveness of the message. This is called ‘message framing’.
The following quote appeared on the website of the American Cancer Society (2008):
Maintaining a healthy weight is important to reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Being overweight or obese ...