Health communication research examines “communication in health care and health promotion” (Kreps et al., 1988). Researchers study health communication across a wide number of domains, including patient-provider communication, communication technology, campaigns and interventions, and communication inequalities. Health communication scholars can be found interviewing patients and providers, studying the adoption of e-health systems, developing and evaluating health campaigns, and spanning the globe (and archives) to better understand the challenges and opportunities for communicating health information.

The Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association (NCA) supports health communication research, teaching, and practice for those inside and outside the field of communication. Members come from multiple fields of inquiry, including communication, nursing, public health, psychology, and sociology (just to name a few). In addition to top faculty and student paper awards at each convention, the division sponsors an Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award, Outstanding Dissertation/Thesis Awards (with ICA’s Health Communication Division), a Distinguished Book and Article/Chapter Award to recognize exceptional health communication scholarship, the Dale Brashers Mentorship Award, and a doctoral and early career pre-conference to enhance the academic work, research, and network of doctoral students and recent Ph.D.s working to establish their career and research agenda.

If you are interested in joining the division, then become a member of NCA and select “Health Communication Division” as one of your affiliations. You can also learn about the division, and health communication research as an area, by joining the division Facebook page (search for “NCA Health Communication Division”), attending the annual division business meeting at NCA (all are welcome!), or reading journals that specialize in health communication research.