Interactive Communication Tools for Health Education

Interactive Communication Tools for Health Education

Machi Suka (St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Japan) and Katsumi Yoshida (St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-356-2.ch051
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Abstract

This chapter introduces an interactive communication tool, the ‘HRA System’. The recent rapid penetration of the Internet has made it a leading mode for gathering and sharing health information. People who access information on the Internet differ considerably in their ‘health literacy’, or the ability to understand and act on health information. The HRA System was developed in an effort to promote health education among people with inadequate health literacy. The system was designed in accordance with the clients’ health literacy skills, as well as the clients’ computer skills. A number of healthcare providers have registered with our research group to provide health education using the HRA System to the general public. The authors provide some ideas regarding how to apply interactive communication technology to health education successfully.
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Healthcare Environment In Japan

National Health Promotion System

The lifestyles of the Japanese have been westernized since the 1960’s. Consequently, the incidence of cardiovascular disease has increase; currently accounting for two thirds of the deaths in Japan. The prevention of cardiovascular disease is important for people’s well-being. The current health promotion measure called ‘Healthy Japan 21’ includes the prevention of cardiovascular disease among the national healthcare priorities.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare has established a health promotion system where all adults are supposed to undergo a health checkup and receive health education annually. Following a health checkup, people at high risk of cardiovascular disease ― having obesity, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and other risk factors ― are urged to take part in a health education session that aims to motivate behavior changes. Health education is usually conducted face to face with trained nurses and dieticians at healthcare facilities. This approach is acceptable in theory, but it does not work out in practice due to limited funds and manpower.

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