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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4254-4277; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124254
Article

Narratives and Images Used by Public Communication Campaigns Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities

1,* , 2
 and 3
Received: 16 August 2012; in revised form: 9 November 2012 / Accepted: 13 November 2012 / Published: 22 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
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Abstract: Researchers have increasingly focused on how social determinants of health (SDH) influence health outcomes and disparities. They have also explored strategies for raising public awareness and mobilizing support for policies to address SDH, with particular attention to narrative and image-based information. These efforts will need to overcome low public awareness and concern about SDH; few organized campaigns; and limited descriptions of existing message content. To begin addressing these challenges, we analyzed characteristics of 58 narratives and 135 visual images disseminated by two national SDH awareness initiatives: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America and the PBS-produced documentary film Unnatural Causes. Certain types of SDH, including income/wealth and one’s home and workplace environment, were emphasized more heavily than others. Solutions for addressing SDH often involved combinations of self-driven motivation (such as changes in personal health behaviors) along with externally-driven factors such as government policy related to urban revitilization. Images, especially graphs and charts, drew connections among SDH, health outcomes, and other variables, such as the relationship between mother’s education and infant mortality as well as the link between heart disease and education levels within communities. We discuss implications of these findings for raising awareness of SDH and health disparities in the US through narrative and visual means.
Keywords: social determinants of health; health disparities; communication; narratives; visuals social determinants of health; health disparities; communication; narratives; visuals
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Clarke, C.E.; Niederdeppe, J.; Lundell, H.C. Narratives and Images Used by Public Communication Campaigns Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 4254-4277.

AMA Style

Clarke CE, Niederdeppe J, Lundell HC. Narratives and Images Used by Public Communication Campaigns Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(12):4254-4277.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Clarke, Christopher E.; Niederdeppe, Jeff; Lundell, Helen C. 2012. "Narratives and Images Used by Public Communication Campaigns Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 12: 4254-4277.


Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert