Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Judith L. Sylvester (Health Care Policy in the United States), 292 pp, $72, ISBN 0-8153-3051-0, New York, NY, Garland Publishing, 1998.
This book does an admirable job of (1) exploring individual attitudes toward health care and information about health care, (2) clarifying the extent of diversity and similarity between white and African Americans, and (3) discovering how health messages can be effectively communicated to African Americans. Accordingly, the publication is an important one, despite its likely appeal primarily to the public health and health policy communities.
The author gives ample evidence that the health status of African Americans is "well below that of Americans of European descent." This gap in health standing is due not just to socioeconomic factors but also to barriers to health care access. The proposed solution is to promote health issues and intervention programs. However, to be effective, there is a need to understand the proper way to communicate messages.
Health MessagesDirecting Health Messages Towards African Americans: Attitudes Toward Health Care and the Mass Media. JAMA. 1998;280(2):196. doi:10.1001/jama.280.2.196-JBK0708-4-1