In Principio Erat Verbum: The Origins of the Communication Models in Health

In Principio Erat Verbum: The Origins of the Communication Models in Health

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4396-2.ch002
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This chapter discusses the origins of the various models used as a basis for health communication through a literature review. Models seek to represent reality and are dynamic constructs that evolve as the world's own needs and discoveries are made. Particularly in health, a territory for a long time dominated by the biomedical model and a passive view of its recipients, the models have brought a breath of fresh air to the true human dimension. Among the various models that have been defended based on a biopsychosocial perspective, the cognitive, behavioral, emotional components of the human being are reflected, as well as their context and environment in which they move, namely the social, economic, cultural, political, and other dimensions. It is also the determinants of health that influence the whole and that make the interpersonal relationship in health richer and representative of the complex human dimension seen in a holistic way.
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Models: Its Constructs

In order to focus on the concept of health communication models, we must start from the definition of each of its constructs, and the evolution of the concept "model".

Starting from Deutsch (1952) who considers the model as a structure of symbols and operational rules that aggregates relevant points in an existing structure or process (p. 357), Engel (1981), highlights the importance of the models' usefulness (p. 122) and Littlejohn (1999) again reinforces the need for “symbolic representation of an underlying thing, process or idea” (1999, p. 19). According to this author, all theories and all models contain concepts, but the conceptual type varies significantly (Littlejohn, 1999, p. 22).

Each model implies judgments of relevance and a theory that combines the structural correspondence between the model and certain aspects of the thing it is supposed to model (Deutsch, 1952, p. 358) (Figure 1)

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