Diffusion of innovations and network segmentation: the part played by people in promoting health

Sex Transm Dis. 2006 Jul;33(7 Suppl):S23-31. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000221018.32533.6d.


Objective: The objective of this study was to describe how diffusion of innovations theory can integrate mass media, interpersonal communication, and social network analysis. These principles can be used to implement and tailor data-based health promotion activities.

Goal: The goal of this study was to develop a model for using and incorporating interpersonal communication into health promotion programs designed to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)/HIV.

Study design: The authors conducted a review of selected studies that exemplify how diffusion of innovations theory has applied interpersonal communication to promote STD/HIV preventive health behaviors.

Results: Few studies have incorporated interpersonal communication as an intervention strategy to encourage STD/HIV preventive behavior. Interventions that have used interpersonal communication have observed successes in health promotion and increases in safer sex behaviors.

Conclusions: This study shows that social network analysis can be used to design more appropriate and perhaps more effective health promotion programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Social Support*