On the road to well-being: The development of a communication framework for sexual health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
Public Health Reports (Impact Factor: 1.55). 03/2013; 128 Suppl 1:43-52.
Source: PubMed


Recognizing the need to work with all partners who have an interest in addressing sexual health issues, we explored values held by diverse stakeholders in the United States. Based on these findings, we developed a framework for use in communicating about sexual health issues and potential solutions.
Our methods included an environmental scan, small-group metaphor elicitation and message framing assessments, interviews, and online surveys with diverse members of the public and health professionals.
Of four overarching value-based themes, two were best accepted across audiences: the first theme emphasized the importance of protecting health along the road of life through enabling good choices, and the second called for adding health promotion approaches to traditional disease prevention control. Nearly all supporting statements evaluated were effective and can be used to support either of the two best accepted overarching themes.
Although there is a great diversity of opinion regarding how to address sexual health issues in the U.S., among diverse stakeholders we found some common values in our exploratory work. These common values were translated into message frameworks. In particular, the idea of broadening sexual health programs to include wellness-related approaches to help expand disease control and prevention efforts resonated with stakeholders across the political spectrum. These findings show promise for improved sexual health communication and a foundation on which to build support across various audiences, key opinion leaders, and stakeholders.

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