Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X
ROZEMBERG, Brani; SILVA, Ana Paula Penna da and VASCONCELLOS-SILVA, Paulo Roberto. Hospital leaflets and the dynamics of constructing their meanings: the perspective of health professionals. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.18, n.6, pp.1685-1694. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2002000600023.
Based on interviews in a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, the authors analyze strategies, interests, assumptions, and concerns among producers of patient information leaflets on infectious diseases. Most such publications followed a linear communications model, according to which health messages produce a sole and single effect on their audience. Visual communications are seen as a field of knowledge over which physicians have no "command", but which raises great expectations on their part, principally in light of the limits of written language for an illiterate patient population. The most frequent concerns relate to the "adequacy of the language" (a denotative, non-semantic function of language) and on the increase in "dissemination". Leaflets are generally linked to the professional experience of providing health care, but the lack of pertinent research prior to the production of such publications leads to simplifications and generalizations concerning the patients' most common doubts and questions, reinforcing the stereotyping of the clientele based on their lacks and needs. In two exceptional leaflets, interaction with the clientele appears and expands the relationship between the health care professionals and the values and decisions made in distinct sociocultural contexts.
Keywords : Propaganda; Health Services; Broadsides.