Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
GARCIA GONZALEZ, Rosario; SUAREZ PEREZ, Rolando and MATEO-DE-ACOSTA, Oscar. Health communication and interactive education and their application to control of the diabetic patient. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.2, n.1, pp. 32-36. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891997000700006.
This article analyzes the need for participation of the groups that are the recipients of health messages in order to make health education more effective. Taking the traditional educational approach as the point of departure, the different options for communication and education processes in this field are explored in depth. The participatory communication model, in which the subject plays the role of both transmitter and recipient, leads to the coproduction of health education messages. In light of the experience of the Diabetes Education Program of the National Endocrinology Institute of Cuba, a health education model based on a strategy of interactive communication is presented. Its objective is to develop in the patient the capability to think and decide about his or her health through discussion groups facilitated by a health care provider. In this model, the beneficiaries of the health message help shape its aim and content. The discussion centers on the patient, taking into account his or her real health needs and feelings. The results obtained with this methodology are reviewed, and it is concluded that this model opens new educational possibilities that will facilitate decision-making with regard to health and healthy lifestyles.