Advertisement

Content Strategy: Writing for Health Consumers on the Web

  • Carolyn PetersenEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

With the increasing emphasis on patient-centered approaches to health care, more and more health professionals are becoming involved in the development of information delivered to patients and their families electronically. Even when creating consumer health content is not a primary job function, awareness of key communication principles can help professionals to better assess and address health information users’ needs. Knowing and writing for the target user audience, using appropriate information sources when creating content, and writing scannable content are three key objectives of the process. This chapter not only describes these considerations for online communication with consumers but also demonstrates the use of these considerations structurally and stylistically in the text.

Keywords

Communication Consumer health information eHealth Health communication Health education Internet Medical writing mHealth Mobile health Social media 

References

  1. AlGhamdi, K. M., & Moussa, N. A. (2012). Internet use by the public to search for health information. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 81(6), 363–373.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2011.12.004 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey, S. C., Fang, G., Annis, I. E., O’Conor, R., Paasche-Orlow, M. K., & Wolf, M. S. (2015). Health literacy and 30-day hospital readmission after acute myocardial infarction. BMJ Open, 5, e006975.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006975 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakker, C. J., Koffel, J. B., & Theis-Mahon, N. R. (2017). Measuring the health literacy of the Upper Midwest. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 105(1), 34–43.  https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2017.105 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennett, I. M., Chen, J., Soroui, J. S., & White, S. (2009). The contribution of health literacy to disparities in self-rated health status and preventive health behaviors in older adults. Annuals of Family Medicine, 7(3), 204–211.  https://doi.org/10.1370/afm.940 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brady, E., Segar, J., & Sanders, C. (2016). “You get to know the people and whether they’re talking sense or not”: Negotiating trust on health-related forums. Social Science & Medicine, 162, 151–157.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.06.029 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Curtis, L. M., Wolf, M. S., Weiss, K. B., & Grammer, L. C. (2012). The impact of health literacy and socioeconomic status on asthma disparities. The Journal of Asthma: Official Journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma, 49(2), 178–183.  https://doi.org/10.3109/02770903.2011.648297 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Diviani, N., van den Putte, B., Giani, S., & van Weert, J. C. M. (2015). Low health literacy and evaluation of online health information: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(5), e112.  https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.4018 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Federman, A. D., Sano, M., Wolf, M. S., Siu, A. L., & Halm, E. A. (2009). Health literacy and cognitive performance among older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57(8), 1475–1480.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02347.x CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Fleisher, J. E., Shah, K., Fitts, W., & Dahodwala, N. A. (2016). Associations and implications of low health literacy in Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders Clinical Practice, 3(3), 250–256.  https://doi.org/10.1902/jop.2016.160203 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Fox, S. (2014, January 15). The social life of health information. Retrieved April 20, 2017, from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/01/15/the-social-life-of-health-information/
  11. Haun, J. N., Patel, N. R., French, D. D., Campbell, R. R., Bradham, D. D., & Lapcevic, W. A. (2015). Association between health literacy and medical care costs in an integrated healthcare system: A regional population based study. BMC Health Services Research, 15, 249.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-015-0887-z CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Holtzman, J. S., Atchison, K. A., Macek, M. D., & Markovic, D. (2017). Oral health literacy and measures of periodontal disease. Journal of Periodontology, 88(1), 78–88.  https://doi.org/10.1902/jop.2016.160203 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Jenkins, W. D., Zahnd, W. E., Spenner, A., Wiley, C., Roles, R., Potini, Y., & Jones, L. S. (2016). Comparison of cancer-specific and general health literacy assessments in an educated population: Correlations and modifying factors. Journal of Cancer Education, 31, 268–271.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-015-0816-1 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Kobayashi, L. C., Smith, S. G., O’Conor, R., Curtis, L. M., Park, D., von Wagner, C., … Wolf, M. S. (2015). The role of cognitive function in the relationship between age and health literacy: A cross-sectional analysis of older adults in Chicago, USA. BMJ Open, 5(4), e007222.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007222 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Kobayashi, L. C., Wardle, J., Wold, M. S., & von Wagner, C. (2016). Aging and functional health literacy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 71(3), 445–457.  https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbu161 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Koh, H. K., Gracia, J. N., & Alvarez, M. E. (2014). Culturally and linguistically appropriate services—Advancing health with CLAS. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(3), 198–201.  https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp1404321 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kotenko, J. (2013, April 18). The doctor will see you now: How the Internet and social media are changing healthcare. Digital Trends. Retrieved April 20, 2017, from http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/the-internet-and-healthcare/
  18. Kwon, J. H., Kye, S. Y., Park, E. Y., Oh, K. H., & Park, K. (2015). What predicts the trust of online health information? Epidemiology and Health, 37, e2015030.  https://doi.org/10.4178/epih/e2015030 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Mackert, M., Mabry-Flynn, A., Champlin, S., Donovan, E. E., & Pounders, K. (2016). Health literacy and health information technology adoption: The potential for a new digital divide. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(10), e264.  https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.6349 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Misra, S. (2015, September 17). New report finds more than 165,000 mobile health apps now available, takes close look at characteristics & use. iMedicalApps. Retrieved April 20, 2017, from http://www.imedicalapps.com/2015/09/ims-health-apps-report/
  21. Nielsen, J., & Morkes J. (1997, January 1). Concise, SCANNABLE, and objective: How to write for the web. Nielsen Norman Group. Retrieved February 17, 2017, from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/concise-scannable-and-objective-how-to-write-for-the-web/
  22. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2017, April 21). Health Communication and Health Information Technology. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/health-communication-and-health-information-technology
  23. Pew Research Center. (2013, January 15). Health Online 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2017, from http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media//Files/Reports/PIP_HealthOnline.pdf
  24. Ratzan, S. C., & Parker, R. M. (2000). Introduction. In C. R. Selden, M. Zorn, S. C. Ratzan, & R. M. Parker. (Eds.), National library of medicine current bibliographies in medicine: Health literacy. NLM Pub. No. CBM 2000-1. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved April 29, 2017, from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/archive//20061214/pubs/cbm/hliteracy.html#15
  25. Roh, Y. H., Koh, Y. D., Noh, J. H., Gong, H. S., & Baek, G. H. (2017). Effect of health literacy on adherence to osteoporosis treatment among patients with radius fracture. Archives of Osteoporosis, 12(1), 42.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11657-017-0337-0 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Sentell, T. L., & Halpin, H. A. (2006). Importance of adult literacy in understanding health disparities. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21(8), 862–866.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00538.x CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Serper, M., Patzer, R. E., Curtis, L. M., Smith, S. G., O’Conor, R., Baker, D. W., & Wolf, M. S. (2014). Health literacy, cognitive ability, and functional health status among older adults. Health Services Research, 49(4), 1249–1267.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6773.12154 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Stewart, D. W., Vidrine, J. I., Shete, S., Spears, C. A., Cano, M. A., Correa-Fernandez, V., … McNeill, L. H. (2015). Health literacy, smoking, and health indicators in African American adults. Journal of Health Communication, 20(Suppl 2), 24–33.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2015.1066465 CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Ye, Y. (2011). Correlates of consumer trust in online health information: Findings from the health information national trends survey. Journal of Health Communication, 16(1), 34–49.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2010.529491 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mayo ClinicRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations