Status of health communication activities for the prevention and control of communicable diseases across the EU and EEA/EFTA countries

Technical report

The extent and nature of communication activities for the prevention and control for communicable diseases across Europe is currently unknown. To address this knowledge gap, ECDC commissioned a Research Consortium of universities (National University of Ireland Galway, Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling, Scotland, and University of Navarra Clinic, Spain) to map current use and application of health communication activities, and to identify perceived needs for efficacious use of health communication in relation to the prevention and control of communicable diseases across the EU, EEA and EFTA countries.

Executive summary

In order to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of how health communication activities influence the prevention and control of communicable diseases, ECDC commissioned a Research Consortium of universities to produce a report to map their current use.

Data was collected across the 30 EU and EEA/EFTA countries, the results of which show that health communication activities were most commonly identified for areas such as influenza, HIV/AIDS and vaccine preventable diseases. General health and crisis communication was the main type of communication identified by the report, although the level of activity varies greatly between disease groups and countries. A number of gaps were also presented, including a fragmented responsibility for health communication at national levels and a knowledge gap regarding education and training for health communication.

The report suggests a number of key action points including strengthening collaboration across the EU, prioritising education and training for health communication and developing online interactive resources for the prevention and control of communicable diseases.

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