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A key function of a basic and clinical biomedical research organization is to communicate the findings of clinical investigations so that people may apply the results to improve their health and well-being. To help communicate results from cardiovascular disease research, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has established a series of national health education programs. The authors describe a model for two of the five programs and discuss the role of communication media in supporting national goals for education programs. The research basis for the programs is reviewed, together with the process by which the Institute develops information materials for mass media, notably public service announcements. A description of two national health education campaigns, hypertension and cholesterol, illustrates how market research is used to identify appropriate target audiences, develop messages, and select channels of communication. Lessons learned about the role of mass media in a national health education campaign are summarized.