The article “Why Health Communication is Important in Public Health” by Rimal and Lapinski (2009) covers the issue of health communication and its importance for public health. The authors are trying to convince the reader that health communication is vital for any aspect of people’s life, public health in particular. The article presents two points of view showing the benefits and challenges of health communication. However, the author makes an emphasis on the importance and value of effective public health communication and its positive influences on numerous health-related issues.
The authors define communication as “a dynamic process in which sources and receivers of information continuously interchange their roles” (Rimal & Lapinski, 2009, p. 247). They state that communication is closely related to health and well-being, as well as plays an important role in health promotion and increase of life quality. The reasons of such importance are the increase in essential developments and increased focus on the investigation of psychological, social, and environmental influences on people’s health and behavior. In addition, communication helps to prevent major threats that are caused by global challenges. Communication is a symbolic capability that helps to share information. It is a good way to exchange information and transmit it. Moreover, communication has a ritual component. These reasons for the justification of the author’s viewpoint are convincing enough to follow his idea. Indeed, communication is a powerful tool is solving any issues. The authors provide enough support to show the reader the importance of communication not only in public health, but also in every aspect of human life.
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However, it is necessary to carefully choose the message intervention channels, the audience, possible ways of response, and others as these “considerations reflect the essential components of the communication process: channel, source, receiver and message, respectively” (Rimal & Lapinski, 2009, p. 247). Messages are received and processed through the prisms of individual and social beliefs. They determine the processes people encounter and derive from communication. Information that is presented in these messages is influenced by individual and macro-social factors.
The article provides a strong support of the discussed ideas through the use of peer reviewed sources that are reputable and cannot be doubted. The authors suggest a clear and concise claim concerning the importance of communication providing good examples and explaining their beliefs and suggestions. They appropriately qualify their claim as they support all ideas by relevant peer reviewed sources.
It is easy to follow and understand the argument as the ideas presented in the article are in proper order, are supported by evidence, and are clearly represented. In order to better understand the issue under investigation, the authors discuss the challenges that may occur while implementing health communication principles in public health.
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According to the article, global scholars understand the threat of the global issues and their importance of disease prevention and the necessity to better understand human behavior through the investigation of social norms uncertainty, and emotions related to health behavior. This claim is supported by reputable sources and this information cannot be doubted. It is reasonable to expect discrepancies between information sent and received. People have different understanding of similar issues and may decode messages differently. That is why the authors suggest further investigation of these discrepancies.
The field of public health communication has become recognized due to the necessity to understand the human behavior and communication process that can influence disease prevention and even treatment. The authors claim that cooperation of practitioners and researcher from different disciplines may result in the development of multilevel theoretical approaches. Therefore, health communication provides a unique opportunity to improve and save people’s lives.
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