Patient Communication Books

For Health Care Providers:

Jonathan D. Linkous, Pam Whitten PhD, David Cook PhD. Understanding Health Communication Technologies.  Available on

Understanding Health Communications Technologies provides an overview of the distribution and use of communication technologies within the health field and includes information about current and emerging synchronous and asynchronous health care communications technologies. It is filled with illustrative examples of real-life projects that have succeeded and provides lessons learned from projects that failed. The thirty-eight case studies cover topics such as management and operations, implementation, communication, outcomes, education, patient care, policy, unique applications, and technology.

Cora Munoz, Joan Luckmann. Transcultural Communication In Nursing.  Available at Munoz/dp/0766848779/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237063646&sr=1-5

The second edition of Transcultural Communication In Nursing focuses on providing general principles of transcultural communication as well as practical examples. It is intended as a supplemental book for the practicing nurse and learner. The book discusses Core Principles (how does one conduct a critical assessment, what does one look for/ask, avoid judgments), Cultural Assessment resources and tools (interview guidelines), and Practical Resources including a spanish-english listing for communications.

David R. Beukelman, Ph.D., Kathryn L. Garrett, Ph.D., & Kathryn M. Yorkston, Ph.D. Augmentative Communication Strategies for Adults with Acute or Chronic Medical Conditions.  Available at

This book is a practical guidebook and CD set that gathers in one place everything professionals need to support and improve communication for adults with specific medical conditions.  It includes expert guidance on providing effective AAC services for people with a wide range of disorders and illnesses and assessment and intervention tools.  This comprehensive resource will help professionals make the best possible decisions about communication supports and improve the quality of life for adults with medical conditions.

Davidoff F, Deutsch S, Egan K, Ende J. Who has seen a blood sugar:  Reflections on medical education.

This poetic and philosophical book on medical education describes the essential elements needed by professionals for effective communication, the importance of entering the patient’s world, and creating a connection with the patient.

Goldstein MG, DePue J, Kazura A, Niaura R. (1998) Models for provider-patient interaction: Applications to health behavior change.  In SA Shumaker, EB Schron, JK Ockene, WL McBee (Eds.), The Handbook of Health Behavior Change (pp. 85-113).  New York:  Springer.

This handbook provides practical and authoritative health management information for both health psychologists and primary care physicians.  The text also serves as a useful resource for policy makers and graduate students studying public health or health psychology.This addition features reviews of past and current models of health behavior change, disease prevention, disease management, and relapse prevention; comprehensive coverage of health-related issues, including dietary needs, tobacco and drug use, safer sexual practices, and stress management; analysis of behavior change within specific populations (young, elderly, cognitively impaired, etc.); and factors that predict or serve as obstacles to lifestyle change and adherence

Mason, Butler(1999).  Health Behavior Change:  A Guide for Clinicians.  New York: Churchill Livingston.

This book provides examples of the use of patient-centered motivational interviewing strategies in health care.  This brief intervention and counseling approach is being applied in a wide variety of health behavior change areas and different health conditions.

For Patients:

John A., Jr. King.  100 Questions & Answers about Communicating with Your Healthcare Provider.

After explaining the difference between a physician and a doctor of osteopathy, this slim guide answers basic questions a patient might have when visiting a healthcare provider for the first time, giving blood for a laboratory test, taking medication, contacting the clinic by telephone, immunizing children, and navigating insurance coverage. An appendix lists credible healthcare resources on the internet.

General Information:

Lederman, Linda C.  Beyond These Walls: Readings in Health Communication.  Available at

Beyond These Walls is a collection readings from top scholars in the rapidly growing area of health communication. The readings highlight the historical background of health communication; the development of patient-provider communication; the prevalence of health promotion and other persuasive messages in public and individual health; the importance of social support offered inside and outside of traditional medical experiences; the growing importance of media literacy; and the future of health communication.  Chapter introductions draw students’ attention to key points in each reading, and discussion questions.

Eileen Berlin Ray, L. Donohew.  Communication and Health: Systems and Applications.  Available through

This book discusses relevant issues in health care communication, such as recognizing that communication is a major factor that affects health care. Its three main objectives involve providing a comprehensive, detailed, and up to-date picture of health communication, applying an integrated, logical structure to the field, and making a clear, strong statement regarding the state of health communication and examining its future prospects.  The contributors address such issues as provider-patient communication, health care teams, health care organizations, public health campaigns, and health education, and then discuss the factors that affect the processing of health information. Also included are examinations of changes in communication use within interpersonal, small group, and organizational health care contexts as well as the use of mass media and other sources for public health campaigns and for raising public awareness of health issues on a day-to-day basis.

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