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Words Matter: What We Say and Write Can Affect Health Understanding (HLOL #231)

by | Jan 1, 2022

Elena T. Carbone, DrPH, RD/LDN, FAND is Professor of Nutrition and Associate Dean for Curriculum & Academic Oversight in the Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Carbone has over 25 years of experience in health education, health literacy, and nutrition communication. Her research engages multi-ethnic communities with low health literacy skills and integrates behavioral interventions to promote health and prevent chronic disease complications. In all her teaching and research, Carbone knows that word choice matters.

In this podcast, Dr. Elena Carbone talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How words can affect health understanding and acceptance. It’s more about what people hear rather than what we write or say.
  • Consequences when others do not understand messages as we had intended.
  • Tips and strategies that can be used when speaking or writing, in formal and informal conversations, and when messages go wrong.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Third Edition, by Helen Osborne. Especially relevant to this podcast is the chapter, “Plain Language.”

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