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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. On this page you will find Research Summaries, "This Just In" Research Summaries, Social Media Metrics, e-Health Data Briefs, Databases, Nonprofit Organizations/Research Centers, Federal Research, Journals and Reports, Research Tools, Evaluation. 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.

"This Just In" Research Summaries

Social Media Metrics

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


National Cancer Institute. Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) – Information about the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), which surveys how Americans find and use cancer information.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects (CRISP) Note no url provided.

U.S. Census Bureau – Information about population, housing, economic, and geographic data.

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 Kasier 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.

Federal Research

CDC Health Protection Research Guide, 2006-2015 [PDF - 1.54MB] – A guide to public health research needs for academicians and practitioners.

FedStats – Celebrating over 10 years of making statistics from more than 100 agencies available to citizens everywhere.

Healthy People 2020 – Information about Healthy People 2020 which encourages individuals, communities, and professionals to take steps to ensure good health.

National Cancer Institute – Information regarding NCI initiatives and resources for cancer.

Cancer Information Service Research Program – Resource for individuals to find cancer-related information.

Centers of Excellence in Cancer Communications Research (CECCR) – Information about the National Cancer Institute Health Communication and Informatic Research Initative

Health Information National Trends Survey – Information about the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), which surveys how Americans find and use cancer information.

Journals and Reports

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

Journal of Health Communication – A health communication journal published bimonthly which features the latest development in risk communication, health literacy, social marketing, communication (from interpersonal to mass media), psychology, government, policy-making, and health education around the world.

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 [PDF-81.6KB] – An essay about Health Marketing

National Cancer Institute Publications – An online resource for free publications.

Research Tools

Theory at a Glance [PDF-3.36MB] National Cancer Institute – Resource for public health practitioneers 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.


CDC's Evaluation Framework – As the targets of public health actions have expanded beyond infectious diseases to include chronic diseases, violence, emerging pathogens, threats of bioterrorism, and the social contexts that influence health disparities, CDC has developed a framework for program evaluation.

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? [PDF-447.5KB] – 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)

Evaluation Design for Public Health Communications Programs [PDF-92.47KB]

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

Public Communication Campaign Evaluation [PDF-190.47KB] – An environmental scan of challenges, criticisms, practice, and opportunities prepared for the Harvard Family Research Project


Link to the Apple Store and download CDC's free iPad App.

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  • Page last updated: September 2, 2011 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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