23.10.2018 At first hand

Communicating credibly. Communication in the healthcare sector covers a wide spectrum of activities, ranging from the doctor-patient conversation to public health prevention campaigns. But one rule is common to all: successful communication relies on the existence of trust.

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Research shows that a trust-based relationship has a positive effect on motivating patients to go along with therapy as well as on the course and efficacy of such therapy. It is not just a question of involving patients in decisions regarding their health. They should also be empowered to make  their own decisions on questions that may really affect them, but without feeling out of their depth.

Providing high-quality information

How is trust created? By communicating credibly. This also applies to the FOPH. We can successfully put across our messages to the public only by persuading it that the FOPH disseminates reliable, high-quality information. Its various public health campaigns are an important element of such healthcare communication: they include information on preventing infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, recommendations on how to avoid non-communicable diseases or information on which population groups should be vaccinated against flu. Here, too, it is a question of communicating credibly and of providing people with a basis for making their own decisions. If one is to trust somebody, one has to be able to understand the information they provide and to assess it critically, whether it be a public health campaign or a conversation with a chief physician. The FOPH therefore aims to ensure that the general public possesses a  high level of health literacy and that everybody knows what is good for their health and how they stay healthy in the long term. Good health literacy creates trust in oneself and one’s own skills.


Gregor Lüthy, Head of Communications an Campaigns

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