Advancing Health Communication Science and Practice

The NIH Common Fund’s Advancing Health Communication Science and Practice program will investigate, develop, test, and share new approaches for effective and equitable health communication. Effective health communication is a complex and multi-factored need that is critical to many health outcomes. The evolving communication ecosystem (characterized in part by changing technology and social media) offers many benefits, including greater access to health information and online support. However, challenges in harnessing this ecosystem and the increased spread of misinformation have hampered public health efforts with particularly concerning effects on underserved populations.  As trust in science and scientists continues to erode in certain communities, it is a critical time to use social and behavioral science to enhance health and science communication. 
The Advancing Health Communication Research and Practice program will address critical gaps in health and science communication relevant across NIH Institutes and Centers and develop approaches to foster equitable health outcomes. Through a community-engaged, equity-focused research, this program aims to better understand what health communication approaches work for whom, under what circumstances, and why. 

These efforts will be accomplished through a multi-faceted, research program consisting of:

  • A Research Network: Integrated and iterative research to improve health communication practice, foster health literacy, and address misinformation
  • A Coordination & Dissemination Center: Coordination and information sharing across the consortium and dissemination of best practices across audiences
  • Methods & Measurement Research Projects: Development of innovative measures of communication (e.g., exposure, impact, health/science literacy, mistrust)

This page last reviewed on September 13, 2022