The Multidisciplinary, Interdisciplinary, and Transdisciplinary Nature of Health Communication Scholarship

Authored by: Elisia L. Cohen

The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication

Print publication date:  September  2021
Online publication date:  September  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367488956
eBook ISBN: 9781003043379
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews the multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary nature of health communication research. The chapter details the conditions under which different orientations to research develop, discuss the implications for basic and applied research, and provide exemplars for how health communication scholars have developed multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary studies to engage in theorizing and applied health communication practice. In reviewing these research efforts, I suggest conditions under which the use of a particular research strategy may be important and discuss ways that researchers’ level of analysis (whether individual, group, organizational, cultural, or media system), complexity of public health or medical problem, and interest in collaboration or transcendent knowledge provides a foundation for their multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary orientation.

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