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Am J Health Behav. 2003 Nov-Dec;27 Suppl 3:S227-32.

Tailored and targeted health communication: strategies for enhancing information relevance.

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  • 1Health Communication Research Laboratory, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA.



To discuss tailored messages in the broader context of communication strategies designed to enhance the relevance of health information to a given audience.


Describe specific mechanisms through which tailored health communication can enhance message relevance and identify situations in which the use of tailoring is most appropriate.


Overall, tailored messages appear to stimulate greater cognitive activity than do messages that are not tailored. However, non-tailored messages that happen to be a good fit for a given individual also have similar effects.


Health communication programs and materials that succeed in making information relevant to their intended audience will be more effective than those that do not. Tailoring is a proven approach to enhancing message relevance, but not the only approach to do so, and under many circumstances may not be the preferred choice.

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