Thursday, August 13, 2015: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
This panel features three case studies that evaluate the use of science-based clear communication recommendations as part of public health agencies’ routine practices. Three programs in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced the CDC Clear Communication Index into their organizations’ internal processes for creating and evaluating public health materials. The Index is a research-based tool for assessing the clarity of public health materials. Two of the case studies report on how the Index was introduced to staff, their reactions to changing methods for creating materials and assessing clarity, and the impact of using the Index on the programs’ materials. The other case study reports on the Index’s impact on the deliberations of a multi-disciplinary team trying to review the appropriateness of a professionally-oriented toolkit. The studies’ results provide new insights into the challenges that public health organizations face when implementing science-based recommendations that alter long-standing routines and practices. The common lesson from these case studies is that even organizations that strongly value science-based practice need an explicit process for translating recommendations into useful routines that staff can understand and apply. The Index packages clear communication recommendations in a way that makes it possible to train staff and assess their ability to apply the recommendations to improve final materials.
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