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Health Communication Research Measures


Edited By Do Kyun Kim and James W. Dearing

This volume presents state-of-the-art reporting on how to measure many of the key variables in health communication. While the focus is on quantitative measures, the editors argue that these measures are centrally important to the study of health communication. The chapters emphasize constructs, scales, and up-to-date reports and evidence about key social science constructs and ways of measuring them, whether your interest is in patient-provider dyadic communication, uncertainty management, self-efficacy, disclosure, social norms, social support, risk perception, health care team performance, message design and effects, health and numerical literacy, communication satisfaction, social influence and persuasion, stigma, health campaigns, reactance, or other topics. Students, researchers, and policymakers will find this book an accessible resource for planning and reviewing research studies and proposals.
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1. Communication Competence


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1. Communication Competence

JOHN BANAS,University of Oklahoma& DANIEL R. BERNARD,California State University, Fresno

In his book Blink, Gladwell (2005) informs readers that the best predictor of malpractice lawsuits is not, in fact, the degree to which a doctor erred in performing her or his duties but rather the quality of the doctor-patient interaction as perceived by the patient. This example is typical of Gladwell’s writing in several ways: it distills a great deal of research into a pithy and memorable factoid, it presents an empirical reality that is counterintuitive to readers, and it elevates a research area to new importance.

As counterintuitive as the above example might be for many, scholars of health communication have long recognized the importance of knowledge and skill regarding effective and appropriate communication, which taken together form the construct of communication competence. Indeed, health and interpersonal communication researchers have long championed the importance of communication competence for mental, physical, and emotional health outcomes. In their Handbook of Interpersonal Competence Research, Spitzberg and Cupach (1989) reviewed research that found people who lack communicative competence to be at increased risk for a variety of negative health outcomes, including: anxiety, depression, hypertension, loneliness, premature mortality, therapeutic outcomes, low self-esteem, and suicide.

Researchers have examined health and communication competence in a variety of ways. Scholars have looked at the predictors of competence, the outcomes of communication competence, as well as how competence...

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