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Health Communications

Course Number
CHL5114H (formerly CHL5807H)
5100 (Social and Behavioural Health Science)
Course Instructor(s)
Francisco Ibáñez-​Carrasco

CHL5807H is a graduate course that explores different ways of communicating about health. It covers a wide range of topics, including how our behavior, society, politics, and culture all play a role in health communication.

Throughout the course, we’ll be engaging with various materials and activities. We’ll be watching videos, reading articles, listening to podcasts, writing papers, and even creating our own content. These activities will help us understand why communication is so important in personal, interpersonal, AI-supported, and collaborative institutional contexts. We’ll also explore how messages are created, shared, and sometimes distorted.

By studying the work of health promoters and looking at the framing, frequency, and fun of different forms of health communication in social media, in campaigns, in knowledge mobilization of health research evidence and even in misinformation (infodemics), we’ll gain insights into the impact of health communication. We’ll learn how they can be used on their own or together to inform, educate, and engage different individuals, groups, and networks within organizations. For example, we might study how communication plays a role in workplace safety or when nurses hand off patients to each other at the end of a shift.

This course is an exciting opportunity for us to actively participate and learn by doing. We’ll have the chance to practice various aspects of health communication through activities and projects, including a final project that can be done individually or in groups. So, get ready to have fun and dive into the world of health communication.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquire a comprehensive understanding of health communication (HC) theory, including the fundamental components of HC, research methodologies employed in HC studies, the design, implementation, and evaluation of diverse forms of HC, and the professional aspects of HC practice.
  2. Gain an appreciation for the role and impact of various HC modalities and media on individual, group, and institutional behaviors, policies, and practices (e.g., using theories of behaviour change).
  3. Develop basic skills in designing, implementing, and evaluating collaborative and community-engaged health communication materials for HC campaigns (e.g., use of graphic design in HC),
  4. Identify, and critically evaluate, key aspects of messaging and media pertaining to public health issues (e.g., framing).
  5. Enhance skills in reviewing HC academic and non-academic literature and media (e.g., websites), and in analyzing media content.

DRAFT Syllabus