The Role of Message Tailoring in the Development of Persuasive Health Communication Messages
This chapter provides an overview of the literature on tailored health communication messages, an innovative area of health communication research that has broad applicability to other areas of communication. Unlike traditional message targeting practices, which operate at the group level, tailored interventions involve the development of persuasive health communications designed for (and based upon an assessment of) the individual. We introduce tailoring and discuss the historical context of message tailoring research. We then provide a broad review of seminal and more recent message tailoring studies. Next, we discuss the mechanisms through which tailored messages may exert their effects, reviewing theoretical perspectives as well as empirical data. Finally, we consider future directions for research on tailored health communication.