Recommendations To Improve
Health Risk Communication

A Report on Case Studies
in Health Risk Communication

Environmental Health Policy Committee
Subcommittee on Risk Communication and Education

November 1994

HHS Seal
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword

Prefatory Note

Executive Summary

Introduction
Health Risk Communication Defined
Limitations

Methodology and Organization
Case Study Profiles
Health Risk Communication Description and Overview

Examples of Health Risk Communications Perceived Effective
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health Improving the Early Diagnosis of Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma
National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health—Clinical Alerts Online System
National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health—EHPC Report on Fluoride Benefits and Risks
National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health—Reducing HIV Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Runaway Adolescents
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry—Case Studies in Environmental Medicine
Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration—Bjork Shiley Convexo-Concave Heart Valve

Examples of Health Risk Communications Perceived Less Effective
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health—Analgesic Use and Kidney Disease
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry—National Priorities List Hazardous Waste Site Status Report
Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration—Temporomandibular Jaw Implants

Analysis of Case Studies' Contribution to Improving the Quality of Health Risk Communication

Recommendations for Improving the Effectiveness of Health Risk Communication

Selected References

Appendix I: PHS Health Risk Communication Practices and EPA's Seven Cardinal Rules of Risk Communication

Appendix II: Critical Process Steps in Health Risk Communication Planning

Appendix III: PHS Implementation Strategies