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Health Communication Programs

3rd term
Health Behavior and Society
4 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Asynchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
  • Uttara Bharath Kumar
  • Tilly Gurman
Uttara Bharath Kumar

Introduction to Online Learning.


We know that multiple factors, including individual behavior, community social norms, and institutional structures can greatly affect public health outcomes. How can we develop health communication programs that enable people to adopt and sustain healthy behaviors? How do we know we are addressing the right behavior? How can we be creative and still focus our messaging on evidence of what is most likely to drive behavior? How can we meaningfully engage the intended audience in the design and implementation of health communication programs? How do we monitor and evaluate health communication programs to see if they achieved success?

Presents a multi-step strategic approach, called the P-Process, for designing, implementing, evaluating, and critiquing health communication programs. Explores the P-Process and walks students through each step, from the formative research stage to and discussion of monitoring and evaluation indicators to design pretest and implementation. Provides the opportunity to design a health communication program for a behavioral or normative public health challenge. Recognizes communication as a science and an art and emphasizes that importance when developing communication interventions that address health behaviors.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the P-Process for health communication programs.
  2. Apply the P-Process tool to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate a health communication program
  3. Prepare a plan for a small-scale health communication program
  4. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of a health communication program according to a systematic set of rubrics
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 20% Midterm Paper
  • 10% LiveTalks
  • 50% Presentation(s)
  • 20% Assignments

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Course must be taken for letter grade, not audit. This course is approved for the Health Communication Certificate sponsored by the Department of Health, Behavior & Society. To learn more about certificates offered by HBS, please email or visit