Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 7

Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions. Write your answers in your Study Diary and discuss them with your Tutor at the next Study Support Meeting. You can check your answers with the Notes on the Self-Assessment Questions at the end of this Module.

SAQ 7.1 (tests Learning Outcomes 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3)

One of the services that Health Extension Practitioners are currently delivering is about HIV/AIDS and TB. Health communication is vital for delivering this service effectively. If you were conducting a health education programme on HIV/AIDS for young people, which of the communication objectives below would you want to achieve? Justify your choice.

  • a.To create understanding on HIV/AIDS in the minds of young people
  • b.To help young people so that they can accept the message delivered
  • c.To get the young people to act on the required behaviour
  • d.All of the above
  • e.None of the above.


The answer is d. — all of the communication objectives listed. In any type of communication, whether you are writing or speaking, trying to persuade, inform, explain, convince or educate the general objectives would be first to create an understanding of HIV/AIDS in the minds of young people, second help them to accept the message delivered, and finally to influence the young people to change their behaviour.

SAQ 7.2 (tests Learning Outcome 7.2)

Give some examples of how health communication can help a. individuals, and b. communities.


You will need to have read the text very carefully to have found the following answers as they are not in a box or list.

  • a.For individuals, health communication:
    • Contributes to better health outcomes
    • Raises awareness of health risks and solutions
    • Provides the motivation and skills needed to reduce these risks
    • Affects or reinforces good health practices and attitudes, and gives people the information they need to make complex choices, such as selecting health plans, care providers and treatments
    • Helps individuals to find support from other people in similar situations.
  • b.For the community, health communication:
    • Encourages social norms that benefit health and improve quality of life
    • Can increase appropriate demand for and appropriate use of health services
    • Can be used to influence the public agenda, advocate for policies and programmes and promote positive changes in socio-economic and physical environments
    • Can help improve the delivery of public health and healthcare services.

SAQ 7.3 (tests Learning Outcomes 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4)

Which of the following statements is false? In each case explain why it is incorrect.

A  For communication to be effective the perception of the sender should not be as close as possible to the perception of the receiver

B  One-way communication is dominated by the sender’s knowledge.

C  Any communication without a two-way process is less effective because of lack of opportunity for appropriate feedback.

D  In health communication, the more sensory organs involved in a communication the less it is effective.


A is false. For communication to be effective the perception of the sender should be as close as possible to the perception of the receiver. The extent of understanding depends on the extent to which the two minds come together.

B is true. One-way communication is dominated by the sender’s knowledge.

C is true. To meet the communication objectives (raise awareness, promote acceptance and bring about behavioural change) a two-way process is effective because there is opportunity for reciprocal, timely and appropriate feedback.

D is false. The more sensory organs involved in a communication the more effective is will be.

SAQ 7.4 (tests Learning Outcome 7.4)

Discuss some of the differences between one-way communication and two-way communication.


In one-way communication the flow of information is from the sender to the receiver. The communication is dominated by the sender’s knowledge and learning is authoritative. This model does not consider feedback and interaction with the sender.

During two-way communication information flows from the sender to the receiver and back again. This model is reciprocal and roles are interchanged. Two-way communication is more appropriate in problem-solving situations and there is more participation and feedback, learning is democratic and it can more easily influence behaviour change. However, this type of communication takes more time.

Summary of Study Session 7