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Annu Rev Public Health. 2004;25:439-55.

The role of culture in health communication.

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Health Communication Research Laboratory, Department of Community Health, St. Louis, Missouri 63104, USA.


This paper examines the role of culture as a factor in enhancing the effectiveness of health communication. We describe culture and how it may be applied in audience segmentation and introduce a model of health communication planning--McGuire's communication/persuasion model--as a framework for considering the ways in which culture may influence health communication effectiveness. For three components of the model (source, message, and channel factors), the paper reviews how each affects communication and persuasion, and how each may be affected by culture. We conclude with recommendations for future research on culture and health communication.

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