Risk Communication

Ralph J. DiClemente, Jerrold M. Jackson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A crucial function of public health is how to effectively disseminate information about a community's risk. Risk communication involves the effective and accurate exchange of information about health risks and hazards - often during an emergency - that advances risk awareness and understanding and promotes health-protective behaviors among individuals, communities, and institutions. Although forged through decades of applied experience in response to infectious disease outbreaks, industrial accidents, and natural disasters, contemporary public health risk communication is predicated on fundamental principles and practices of behavioral, health, and social science theory and research. Increasingly, risk communication concepts are proving instrumental to pursuits in noncrisis contexts such as health care and health promotion. Examples from the most recent Ebola and Zika epidemics are also included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Public Health
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128037089
ISBN (Print)9780128036785
StatePublished - Oct 6 2016


  • Cultural competence
  • Cultural issues in health communication
  • Disasters
  • Emergency planning
  • Health
  • Internet
  • Mass media
  • Media coverage of public health
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk perception
  • Risk surveillance
  • Safety risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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