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Public health communication needs assessment (scoping the existing public health communication channels with emphasis on digital media; their effectiveness and possibilities for development)

This scoping project was developed by a multi-disciplinary group of researchers from the Public Health Communication and Media Group at Warwick Medical School (previously under the Institute of Health).

Modern communication channels are becoming ever more accessible and used across society. Research was needed to understand how to exploit and harness their potential in public health. Our network explored the role of media (focusing on digital media) in public health research translation and communication. Potential applications included the use of media:

  • To enhance communication and bridge the gap between research, policy and practice eg for improving health services and systems
  • In health risk communication, health education, social marketing eg for health promotion
  • To facilitate social innovation, social enterprise and public empowerment eg for reducing health inequalities and building social capital
  • To enhance public health research and training by using visual methods eg photo-elicitation and cultural probe methods

Our methodology combined expertise from public health and evidence synthesis, social and behavioural sciences, communication and media science, policy and management, e-health and digital media, pedagogy and dissemination. The work included:

  • Scoping review for mapping the use of media in public health, serving as a starting point for an in-depth systematic review, defining the evidence base and unanswered questions for future primary research. We used quantitative and qualitative methods to map and evaluate the existing evidence
  • Strengthening and expanding the existing research network by facilitating university, national and international collaboration through organising meetings, events and development of research proposals at university, national and international level
  • Project development for larger research proposals
  • Educational module/training seminars development (together with the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning) aiming at multi-disciplinary communication training and early career researcher involvement

The research team was:

Dr Mariana Dyakova (Principal Investigator)clinical_meeting.jpg

Dr Christine Clar

Prof Aileen Clarke

Prof Peter Donnelly (University of St Andrews)

Prof Gillian Hundt

Dr Nick Monk

Prof Jeremy Wyatt (University of Leeds)