The Communication, Brain & Society lab is a member of the Amsterdam Center for Health Communication (ACHC) at the University of Amsterdam.
The ACHC is a key institute for dissemination and valorization of outcomes of academic research in the field of health communication. A major challenge for health professionals and policymakers is to optimally use the potential of communication and media to empower individuals to adopt healthy behaviors, to improve effective outcomes in health care, to direct policy makers’ attention to important health issues, and to frame those issues for public debate and resolution. To address this challenge and to support health professionals to utilize effective communication and media strategies, the ACHC aims to a) disseminate how health communication research, education, technologies, and policies can promote health and well-being, b) enhance optimal implementation of study findings related to the broad domain of health communication, and c) promote collaboration and dialogue among academia, health professionals and policy makers. This is done in collaboration with a broad network of scientific experts from diverse research fields (e.g., health psychology, persuasive communication, behavioral medicine) and important stakeholders in society, such as public health promotion organizations, institutions in health care and patient organizations. We are a dedicated team of health communication researchers that advance the field of health communication by studying factors that explain the development, reach, processing and effects of health messages, unravelling the interplay between interpersonal and mediated communication, developing theory- and empirical based health interventions and disseminating knowledge resulting from this research. The final aim of the ACHC is to support the translation of our health communication research into effective public health programs and policies.
The foundation of the ACHC is in conformity with the recommendations of the recently conducted research assessment by the Quality Assurance Netherlands Universities (QANU). The committee concluded that “more effort could be devoted to involving stakeholders more explicitly in research projects” and acknowledged that “the newly established ‘Center for Health Communication’ reflects a clear strategy to connect with societal stakeholders”.