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Research & Evaluation

Graphic of people doing research.

Before developing health communication or social marketing campaigns, you have to do your research. This is also the time to plan how you will track and evaluate the success of your campaign. After it’s over, you need to evaluate the effectiveness. Keeping abreast of the latest communication science research can help you identify new approaches. These sources can help your campaign and health communication achieve maximum impact, and to evaluate their success.

Research Summaries

The Community Preventive Services Task Force finds health communication campaigns can change health behaviors when combined with the distribution of free or reduced-price related products. The finding, based on a systematic review of literature conducted by CDC’s Community Guide Branch, showed health communication campaigns, as part of a broader social marketing framework, actually strengthened the link between health communication campaigns and initiation and maintenance of the targeted behavior change. Read a summary of the review.

Journals and Reports

American Journal of Public Health – A public health publication featuring original work in research, research methods, and program evaluation.

Journal of Medical Internet Research – An online peer-reviewed transdisciplinary journal on health and health care.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Health Academy Newsletter – Resource for public relations practitioners involved in the health care industry.

Search the Journal Database for additional publications – An online database of journals for public health professionals.

Improving Health Through Health MarketingDownload the PDF version [81 KB, 3 pages] – An essay about Health Marketing

Research Tools

Theory at a Glance [2.9 MB, 64 pages] National Cancer Institute – Resource for public health practitioners and the public health community summarizing health behavior theories.

Latin American Network Information Center – Resources for Latin Americans.

NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service – Resource to help health professionals communicate with non-English speaking communities throughout NSW.

Social Media Metrics

Data & Metrics – Understanding communications channels is imperative to conducting strategic, effective and user-centric health interventions, campaigns and outreach.

Nonprofit Organizations/Research Centers

Institute of Medicine – Information about a an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.

Kaiser Family Foundation – Information about the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., as well as the U.S. role in global health policy.

National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise – Resource for nonprofit organizations to enable them to increase their impact and sustainability.


An Evaluation Primer on Health Risk Communication Programs and Outcomes (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) – Information about ATSDR Evaluation Primer on Health Risk Communication Programs.

Guidance for Evaluating Mass Health Communication Initiatives – Summary of discussions addressing the challenges of evaluating mass communication health initiatives.

What We Know About… Evaluation Planning? [447 KB, 8 pages] – Summary of research regarding Evaluation Planning.

University of Arizona- Community Health Worker Evaluation Toolkit Child Welfare Information Gateway (HHS) – An introduction to Logic Models – two approaches

MMWR Evaluation Framework 2004 – Framework for Evaluating Public Health Surveillance Systems for Early Detection of Outbreaks (MMWR, May, 2004)

Program Evaluation Resources (CDC-Healthy Youth) – Evaluation tutorials

Public Communication Campaign Evaluation – An environmental scan of challenges, criticisms, practice, and opportunities prepared for the Harvard Family Research Project

  • Page last reviewed: October 6, 2016
  • Page last updated: October 6, 2016
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