ERIC Number: ED258285
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov-9
Reference Count: 0
Affirmative Communication as Health: The New Paradigm.
Cooper, Thomas W.
A wide range of interesting observations of the past decade, which may now cast their shadow as the health communication paradigm of the forthcoming decade, can be clarified and correlated. One example of effective communication therapy was Norman Cousins's hospitalization with the crippling disease, "ankylosing spondylitis." Using large doses of media comedy and Vitamin C, Cousins believes he laughed his way back to health. Despite this case, laughter can be considered as an aspect of communication, not medicine. Increasingly, research conclusions suggest a major relationship between individual expression and the individual state of health. Noting such interaction between personality and health, the surgeon Wallace Ellerbrook has prescribed changes in patient communication patterns rather than emphasizing drugs, diet, or other external treatments. What is emerging is (1) the increasing correlation of empirical validation with previously theoretical hypotheses, (2) movement beyond academic debate into the broader public Cousins's audience signifies, (3) a startling open-mindedness to forthcoming evidence and fresh perspectives, (4) an adventurous quest for the scientific understanding and healthy employment of human emotion, and (5) the premise that health and communication define and reflect each other at the core level and may be ultimately identical if properly understood. (EL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Ocean City, MD, April 27-30, l983).