Health Communication Research Vol.13, No.1

Health Communication Week Organization and its Affiliated Academic Associations

Takahiro Kiuchi1), Takeo Nakayama2), Satoshi Miyahara3), Hirono Ishikawa4), Naomi Sugimoto5), Tomoko Takayama6), Kazuhiko Fujisaki7)

1)Department of Health Communication, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo、2)Department of Health Informatics, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 3)Faculty of Foreign Language Studies, Seinan Gakuin University, 4) Teikyo University Graduate School of Public Health, 5) Faculty of Nursing and Medical Care, Keio University, 6) National Cancer Center, Institute of Cancer Control, 7) Medical Education Development Center, Gifu University

As the third pillar of modern medicine in the 21st century, medical communities have focused on improving health communication, following biology in the 19th century and evidence (data)-based medicine in the 20th century. In the fiscal year 2022, the Japanese Association of Health Communication was reorganized to become the Japan Health Communication Week Organization (HCWO) with seven affiliated academic associations that include health communication and its subordinated terms in their names; namely, health communication, medical science communication, medical communication, health literacy, health marketing, health-care communication, and medical interpreting. We clarified the relationships between HCWO and its affiliated associations by articulating their concepts and their relationships to health communication. In 2022, HCWO also established two occupation-related academic associations: namely, dentistry and nursing. We also clarified the significance of their establishment and role in HCWO. We believe that HCWO will greatly contribute to the efficient administration of its associations, provide convenient information for their members, avoid unnecessary competition between similar academic associations, and develop academic research activities in health communication and its related fields.


Narrative approach as a clinical art

Akira Nakagawa

Kyoto college of Nursing.

Narrative approaches have become popular in the healthcare sector in recent years. However, not many medical staff are familiar with this technique. The reason for this is that many medical staff do not know exactly what a narrative approach is. In this article, I would like to describe the narrative approach as a clinical art for eliciting patient stories.

How the Arts Can Help Educate Health Care Providers: The Potential of Arts-Based Health Care Education

Daisuke Son

Department of Community-based Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University

Art has the power to resist the absurdities and limitations imposed on human beings and restore their vitality and humanity. Medical education through film (i.e., cinemeducation) has a “human-forming function” that encourages learners’ critical thinking and independence formation. A review of the educational benefits of the visual arts for medical professionals shows that art appreciation leads to clinical observation, empathy, tolerance for uncertainty, cultural sensitivity, team building and collaboration, in addition to wellness and resilience. Tolerance for uncertainty is connected to the concept of “negative capability,” which refers to the ability to tolerate ambiguous situations that do not have easy answers. In recent years, empathy has been increasingly emphasized in medical education and is a central component of patient-centered care and medical professionalism. The arts may help medical professionals to develop empathy and narrative competence. For example, carefully appreciating literary works, paintings, videos, and music, and cultivating a perspective about others through the ability to express oneself is a central aspect of the arts. As a practical example, the experience and effects of using visual thinking strategies and cinemeducation with medical students and residents will also be presented.

What do Students Learn, Feel, and Notice About Simulated Patients’ Participation and Public Involvement in Interprofessional Education?

Mina Suematsu

Education for community-oriented medicine, Nagoya Graduate School of Medicine

This paper focuses on what the students felt and noticed during three interprofessional education (IPE) programs conducted at Nagoya University following the participation of simulated patients (SPs) and the public. The three IPE programs covered basic clinical skills training for fourth-year medical students prior to clinical practice, the Tsurumai-Meijo IPE was conducted during clinical practice for fourth- and fifth-year medical, pharmacy, and nursing students, while the diabetes education (health promotion) IPE was conducted as an extracurricular program. The basic clinical skills training IPE used case studies about Parkinson's disease and dementia for medical and nursing students. Individuals with Parkinson's disease or dementia and their family carers were invited by the lecturers to present their 'narrative' to the medical students. During the Tsurumai-Meijo IPE, students were required to make their care plans for the interdisciplinary team, explain their care plan to the SPs or family members, and receive their feedback. We explored what the students felt and noticed during these IPE programs using the quantitative study results. Finally, we introduced the diabetes education (i.e., health promotion) IPE, which was held for members of the public who were interested in diabetes and dementia.

Using Patient Storytelling to Foster Medical Students' Empathy for Patients

Yumi Kagawa

Department of Health Communication, School of Public Health, The University of Tokyo

Empathy for patients is now internationally accepted as one of the essential competencies of physicians in patient-centered medical practices and has become an essential component of medical education. “Patient storytelling” has recently attracted attention in teaching medical students how to have empathy for and understand their patients’ experiences, feelings, and perspectives. This paper discusses the question of how to effectively use patient storytelling to foster empathy for patients among medical students with reference to empathy, transformative learning and narrative theories. A key component of empathy is perspective taking, which is the cognitive ability to try to understand other people’s thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Transformative learning is effective in helping to support empathy. Hense, patient storytelling can help medical students to transform their values by focusing on their patients’ stories of how their values changed in the wake of their illness. In addition, transformative learning can be achieved through group discussions and individual reflective writing. Future studies will accumulate empirical research to establish patient storytelling as an evidence-based learning strategy and popularize it through the participation of patients and the public.

Health Writing of Health Information from Public Health Professionals to General Public

Tsuyoshi Okuhara

Department of Health Communication, School of Public Health, The University of Tokyo

Health writing is the art and practice of planning, writing, revising, and editing for the purpose of promoting understanding and action in disease prevention, treatment, and health promotion among the public and patients through various media. In the United States, “written and oral communications” were included in public health education programs at universities and graduate schools in 2016, and some graduate schools of public health have started systematic education programs in public health writing. In Japan, the school of public health of the University of Tokyo has offered classes in health writing since 2016. Local governments, insurers, and medical institutions in Japan also pay attention to health writing. This article identifies five values and skills that are considered to be important by the author in health writing, and discusses the qualities required of public health information developers.

Public Health Professionals’ Health Writing to Provide Information for People with Disease

Tomoko Takayama1)2)

1) Cancer Information Service Division, Institute of Cancer Control, National Cancer Center,2) Department of Cancer Communication, School of Public Health, University of Tokyo

The required knowledge and skills for health writing in public health information is discussed, mainly in providing information for people with disease. This discussion is based on the efforts made by the Cancer Information Service, which is operated by the National Cancer Centre. The Cancer Information Service aims to “help patients understand and use information about their diagnosis and treatment to help them make informed decisions and take action.” At the very least, writing toward this goal involves understanding what professionals are trying to tell their patients, knowing what information patients want, and understanding how both parties comprehend and interpret the health information. This study also includes imagining the patients’ environment and how they will use the information. In addition, a sense of balance between the way the information is conveyed and its factual basis among the various parties is required so that the information can be communicated to a wider audience while targeting individuals with disease. Finally, system-wide quality management is required to disseminate reliable information broadly. Writers from different backgrounds can use the results to consider how best to position themselves and develop their skills when presenting health information.

Health Writing: From the Media to Citizen-Patients

Runa Ogawa

Teikyo University Graduate School of Public Health

There is a need to develop more health writing practitioners (i.e., health writers) who can write flexibly toward their readers’ characteristics based on not only their personal thoughts and efforts, but also educational structures. Information regarding the knowledge, skills, and values required for health writing based on public health information to citizen-patients via the media include: 1. media categories that produce public health information and where health writers will be active; 2. essential health writing skills from the author’s perspective, who has been a nonmedical professional for about 20 years; 3. activities based on the suitability assessment of materials to help health writing practitioners in local governments and insurers; and 4. the strengths and weaknesses of each nonmedical and medical health writer.

How Strategies to Overcome Language Barriers Affect Foreign Patients’ Satisfaction

Harue Ando1), Haruka Izawa1), Nami Tanaka1), Hiroko Yabushita1), Francois Niyonsaba2), Ai Noda2), Naoko Ono2)

1)Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Medical Interpreting 2)Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Medical Interpreting, Juntendo University, Faculty of International Liberal Arts

Objective: Medical interpreters work within medical facilities and there has been a recent push toward training more interpreters and using automatic translators. This study examined how the use of strategies to overcome language barriers affect the satisfaction of foreign patients living in Japan. Method: We used analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and logistic regression to analyze the data from 40 patients (29 were supported by an interpreter and the remaining 11 used a translator), which were collected from a Google Forms questionnaire. The patients were asked about their experiences of visiting hospitals in Japan. Results: There was no significant association between the use of strategies to overcome language barriers and patient satisfaction (ANCOVA, p > 0.05; logistic regression, odds ratio = 0.712, 95% confidence interval: 0.169?3.001). Conclusion: Although the use of strategies to overcome language barriers did not significantly affect patient satisfaction, the study results can aid comparison of multiple methods for medical interpreting in Japan. More detailed analyses and larger samples will be needed for future surveys.

<Book Review>

Health Communication for Behavior Change by Tsuyoshi Okuhara

Tsuyoshi Okuhara

Department of Health Communication, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo

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