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Unit of study_

Health and Risk Communication - PUBH5422

Have you ever wondered about why it is that some people come to hold antivaccination views, or how to ask people to use quarantine, face masks, and fever clinics in an outbreak situation, or what to do if a significant error leads to a public danger? All of these situations, as well as how we can best prevent and manage chronic disease risks, are determined by how good our communication is. In this unit of study, students will learn how to communicate effectively with respect to health risks, both to individuals with health concerns, and with respect to risks to the public. The unit provides students with the latest research that reveals the factors that influence how people perceive and make judgments about risks, and how to tailor communication accordingly. Topics covered include incident response; managing outbreak or other crisis situations; antivaccination, anti immunisation, climate change and other 'post truth' social issues; how to best manage controversies; and what chronic disease prevention might learn from risk communication principles. The unit provides practical guides to risk message framing, managing outrage, and communicating complex messages. Sections of the unit explore research on tools for public engagement, the design of media messaging, traditional and social media, and the ethical aspects of public communication. The principles of risk communication are also applied to institutional and clinical settings, including open disclosure, patient and client centred communication, and shared decision making. The 3 day intensive, which is compulsory, offers students the opportunity to learn from specialist guest lecturers who work in these areas, and interactive opportunities for students to try our their skills.

Block/intensive 1 block of 2 x days (9am-5pm both days) which is compulsory; please check with the coordinator for scheduling

1 x 1000 word written assignment (20%), 1 x 3000 words or equivalent (40%), online activities totalling 2000 words or equivalent (40%). Attendance at the intensive is compulsory and 80% attendance is required to pass.

Students are provided with a list of readings (in digital format). Most supplementary readings can be accessed through the library or online.


Faculty: Medicine and Health

Semester 2

05 Aug 2019

Department/School: Public Health
Study Mode: Block mode
Census Date: 31 Aug 2019
Unit of study level: Postgraduate
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: No
Faculty/department permission required? No
More details
Unit of Study coordinator: Dr Claire Hooker, Associate Professor Julie Leask, Professor Phyllis Butow
HECS Band: 2
Courses that offer this unit

Non-award/non-degree study If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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