Communication for Behavior Change Programs

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Communication for Behavior Change Programs


Theories and models of health behavior, such as the ones you explored in previous weeks, seek to explain why people act the way they do and the motivations for and barriers to behavior change. There is a cadre of professionals (physicians, program administrators, health psychologists, and others) who use these theories and models in education efforts, specifically behavior change programs, as frameworks to guide communication and interventions. Behavioral change programs can address many different issues. For example, a program might promote healthy attitudes toward alcohol use in a college population, strive to prevent childhood abuse in a low-income urban area, or promote safe needle practices via a needle exchange program in a homeless shelter.

Clients with whom health behavior professionals work may not readily seek out or have information about behavior change programs available to them. It is the professional’s job to effectively and sensitively communicate this information to them, incorporating themes and principles from communication-based theories and models (such as those presented in this week’s Learning Resources). Effective and positive professional-client communication can lead to better client decision making, greater health and emotional well-being, and greater mutual trust and understanding, to name just a few positive outcomes.

For this Discussion, think of a potential behavioral change program that you might wish to implement with clients based on your professional interest. (For example, you might wish to implement a handwashing program for children or a mobile HIV-testing program for prostitutes.) Think about the population this program would target, the goals of the program, and factors you would need to consider when communicating information about it to potential clients. Consider how you might address these potential factors using one or more of the communication theories or models you read about this week.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the behavioral change program you selected, including the populations it will target and the goals of the program. Then describe three factors that need to be considered when communicating the program to potential individual clients. Finally, explain how you might address one of the factors using one of the communication theories or models to effectively communicate the program and facilitate client understanding. Be specific and provide references to the Learning Resources.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

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