Advances in public health communication

Annu Rev Public Health. 1995:16:219-38. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pu.16.050195.001251.


There have been tremendous advances in recent years in the innovative use of communication to address public health problems. This article outlines the use of communication techniques and technologies to (positively) influence individuals, populations, and organizations for the purpose of promoting conditions conducive to human and environmental health. The approaches described include social marketing, risk communication, and behavioral decision theory, entertainment education, media advocacy, and interactive decision support systems. We also address criticism of these approaches among public health professionals because of perceived discrepancies in their inherent goals and objectives. In conclusion, we call for the rapid diffusion of state-of-the-art public health communication practices into public health service agencies and organizations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advertising*
  • Communication*
  • Computer Communication Networks
  • Health Promotion*
  • Mass Media
  • Public Health Administration / methods*
  • Recreation
  • United States