Communicating About Health: Current Issues and Perspectives, By Athena du Pré

Talking about Health

Book review by Novella Martinello

“…health communication is a part of everyday life. Everyone is involved in some way. Our ideas about health are influences by health care professionals, friends, family members, coworkers, educators, advertisers, entertainers, public health promoters, and many others. At the same time, we influence the people around us with our own actions and thoughts about health.”

Intended for health professionals at all levels of training, Athena du Pré delivers readers an insightful and diverse approach to communication in healthcare. This text is far-reaching in content, offering readers the history of health communication and current issues, an appreciation of the human side to health care and advocacy, and practical tools for effective communication. New to this edition is a chapter on public health crises and health care reform, reflecting on health care issues of the now. It is easy to read and includes examples and case studies to enhance learning of the material. I especially enjoyed the section concerning communication between patients and caregivers and the perspectives of each.

I was a teaching assistant for an undergraduate health communication course, and this book was used as the main text for the class. The students found it easy to understand and engaging. Also new to the third edition are the ‘Career Opportunity’ boxes, which give titles and resources for jobs related to health communication, and the students (many about to complete their degree) found this invaluable. As a graduate student, this text was a useful complement to my training as well. If you are looking for the best introduction to the field of health communication, Communicating about Health, should be where you turn.

Also by author: Partnership for Health: Building Relationships Between Women and Health Caregivers (Routledge Communication Series), By Christina S. Beck, Sandra L. Ragan and Athena du Pré.

Review published: May 2010

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