that iterative aspect of scientific discovery is not clearly conveyed to, or understood by, the public. The resulting uncertainty and distrust of research may affect women’s care adversely. Relevant knowledge from studies of communication often is not used by researchers, funders, providers, and public-health professionals to target health messages and information to women.

Recommendation 7

The Department of Health and Human Services should appoint a task force to develop evidence-based strategies to communicate and market health messages that are based on research results to women. In addition to content experts in relevant departments and agencies, the task force should include mass-media and targeted-messaging and marketing experts. The strategies should be designed to communicate to the diverse audience of women; to increase awareness of women’s health issues and treatments, including preventive and intervention strategies; and to decrease confusion regarding complex and sometimes conflicting findings. The goals of the task force should be to facilitate and improve the communication of research findings by researchers to women. Strategies for the task force to consider or explore might include

  • requiring a plan for the communication and dissemination of findings of federally funded studies to the public, providers, and policy makers; and

  • establishing a national media advisory panel of experts in women’s health that would be readily available to provide context to reporters, scientists, clinicians, and policy makers at the time of release of new research reports.



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