Health Communication


a) To acquire skills for collecting quality health information;
b) To develop critical analysis skills of health information sources;
c) To acquire knowledge and develop skills on scientific writing and peer-to-peer communication;
d) To acquire skills for effective communication with patients and within a multidisciplinary team;
e) To develop skills on communication techniques targeted to effective behavioural change;
f) To identify communication vehicles and tools;
g) To identify new communication tools and strategies;
h) To acquire skills for dissemination of health information in the media;
i) To raise awareness of the importance of innovative communication strategies for health behavior change
j) To recognize the importance of risk communication in public health crisis;
l) To acquire knowledge on strategic communication of health and research institutions.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof.ª Doutora Catarina Durão


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





• Dean, Cornelia (2009). Am I making myself clear? A scientist’s guide to talking to the public, Harvard: Harvard UP.
• Coiera, E.; Parker, J. – Improving Clinical Communication: a view from Psychology. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Vol. 7, nº 5. Set.-Out. 2000; 453-461.
• Teixeira, José A. Carvalho – Comunicação em saúde: relação entre técnicos de saúde-utentes. Análise Psicológica, Set. 2004, Vol. 22, nº3. 615-620.
• Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Practice Paper of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Communicating Accurate Food and Nutrition Information.
• Gregory, D.M., Cohen, N.L., Fulgoni, V.L., Heymsfield, S.B. and Wellman, N.S. From nutrition scientist to nutrition Communicator: why you should take the leap. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006; 83: 1272-5.
• Hallahan, K., Holtzhausen, D., van Ruler, B., Vercic, D. & Sriramesh, K. (2007) 'Defining Strategic Communication', International Journal of Strategic Communication, 1 (1): 3-35.

Teaching method

The UC is organized in lectures and theoretical-practical (TP) classes: 1 weekly expository lecture with a duration of 50 minutes and 1 weekly TP class of 2.2 hours, in classes with a maximum of 20 students. The TP classes are divided into three modules, each module consists of 4 to 5 sessions (Module 1 - Research and collection of health information; Module 2 - Systemization of information and transmission among peers; Module 3 - Health information dissemination to the general public) in which group assignments are carried out.

Evaluation method

Evaluation has a practical component and a final exam (0–20). Assessment of the TP component is continuous (40%), and takes into account: performance and attendance of students; quality of the practical reports; attitude and knowledge demonstrated. The final exam (60%) is a multiple choice written exam. Admission to the final exam is conditional to attendance to, at least, 2/3 of TP classes and a practical grade of at least 9.5. To be approved, the exam grade must be at least 9.5.

Subject matter

I. Information collection and management in nutritional sciences (NS)
Sources of information in NS
Management of bibliographic references

II. Peer-to-peer communication in NS
Scientific writing
Oral communications
Communication skills in multidisciplinary teams

III. Communication in the clinical context
Communication skills between health professionals and patients
Clinical nutrition interview

IV. Communication of nutritional information for the general population
Society of information and the challenge of communication on NS
Communication strategies and new communication tools for health professionals
Dissemination of nutritional information to the media

V. Risk Communication in public health emergencies
Building credibility and trust
Integrating risk communication in health and public health crisis management services
Risk communication practices

VI. Strategic communication in health
The role of communication in internal and external relationships of health and research institutions
Digital strategies for health communication


Programs where the course is taught: