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Health Communication

Strategies for Developing Global Health Programs

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Edited By Do Kyun Kim, Arvind Singhal and Gary L. Kreps

Promotion of healthy behaviors and prevention of disease are inextricably linked to cultural understandings of health and well-being. Health communication scholarship and practice can substantially and strategically contribute to people living safer, healthier, and happier lives. This book represents a concrete step in that direction by establishing a strategic framework for guiding global and local health practices.
Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, the volume includes state-of-the-art theories that can be applied to health communication interventions and practical guidelines about how to design, implement, and evaluate effective health communication interventions.
Few books have synthesized such a broad range of theories and strategies of health communication that are applicable globally, and also provided clear advice about how to apply such strategies. This volume combines academic research and field experience, guided by past and future research agendas and on-the-ground implementation opportunities.
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Chapter 6 Conversations about Cancer (CAC): A National and Global Strategy for Impacting Family and Medical Interactions (Wayne A. Beach, Kyle Gutzmer & David M. Dozier, San Diego State UniversityMary K. Buller & David B. Buller, Klein Buendel, Inc.)

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Wayne A. Beach, Kyle Gutzmer, & David M. Dozier, San Diego State University Mary K. Buller & David B. Buller, Klein Buendel, Inc.

Cancer is a highly insidious and uncertain disease involving ambiguous diagnostic and treatment outcomes, changes in lifestyle and appearance, altered relationships, increased stress, and frequent financial hardships. Throughout cancer journeys cancer (the ‘C’ word) is understandably feared more than any other medical condition by Americans and one of the primary causes of health anxiety worldwide. When managing the trials and tribulations of cancer, from diagnosis through possible death of loved ones, the communication challenges faced by cancer patients, family members, and medical experts are considerable: For example, updating and making sense of both good and bad news, managing inherently uncertain futures, adjusting to changes in lifestyles and relationships (e.g., caregiving burdens), describing and assessing what doctors have reported and the overall quality of medical care being delivered (Beach, 2009). These and considerably more activities can create ongoing difficulties, but also unique opportunities exist to remain hopeful in the midst of fearful and uncertain events. Being hopeful exemplifies primal survival responses to managing diseases that cannot be fully controlled, events occurring over time that threaten quality and length of living.

While research in the social and medical sciences acknowledges these diverse challenges, and hopeful opportunities, little has been revealed about actual family communication when making sense of and coping with ordinary cancer circumstances. Direct access to interactions comprising family interactions has been constrained by...

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