Tailored and targeted health communication: strategies for enhancing information relevance

Am J Health Behav. 2003 Nov-Dec;27 Suppl 3:S227-32. doi: 10.5993/ajhb.27.1.s3.6.


Objective: To discuss tailored messages in the broader context of communication strategies designed to enhance the relevance of health information to a given audience.

Methods: Describe specific mechanisms through which tailored health communication can enhance message relevance and identify situations in which the use of tailoring is most appropriate.

Results: Overall, tailored messages appear to stimulate greater cognitive activity than do messages that are not tailored. However, non-tailored messages that happen to be a good fit for a given individual also have similar effects.

Conclusion: Health communication programs and materials that succeed in making information relevant to their intended audience will be more effective than those that do not. Tailoring is a proven approach to enhancing message relevance, but not the only approach to do so, and under many circumstances may not be the preferred choice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Research
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Media
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Social Marketing*
  • Weight Loss