Sunday, 5 February 2012

Finding the 'hook' for health

Sometimes people need to get their story into the newspapers or on television. In order to do this they have to make sure that their story has a newsworthy angle, a 'hook'. 

The 'hook' is something that will catch the interest of a reporter or editor- like hooking a fish with a fishing rod. To catch fish you have to put the right bait on the hook. Different fish eat different food. 

In order to catch the attention of a reporter, you have to know what is important to them. Your story needs to fit their agenda. The sorts of 'hook' that will pull in reporters are things like: a heart-tugging human interest story, or a story that fits with the live issues in the news that week, or something that involves a celebrity.

These thoughts were sparked after reading lots of different material about how best to support people with diabetes. People with diabetes have the best chance of staying healthy when they understand the right way to take care of themselves. 

Not everyone with diabetes understands how to do this or even why this is important. So taking the lessons from fishing and the media world, professional workers may need to find the right 'hook' to help people understand. 

This is where having a deep knowledge of patients and clients might have an important part to play. Listening closely and asking questions to better understand, helps professional workers to know the reality of their patients' daily lives.  

Knowing what is important to the people they serve also gives important clues about how to catch people's attention. We can catch people's attention by making the connection between their health and the other things in their lives that are important to them. 

Could it be that the stronger that link, the greater the chance that people will take action to improve their health? 

The next blog will describe one way in which we are making such a link in this eye care project.

It ain't what you say, it's the way that you say it

This is a short, helpful video from the California HealthCare Foundation and their Better Chronic Disease Care Programme. It looks at how people can be supported to bring about behaviour change.

It demonstrates how a change of style on the part of professionals - from telling, to asking -  can enable people to manage their chronic condition more successfully. 

If you cannot view this video on this page, click on the link to go the original site: