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What is evidence-based health communication and how does it benefit patients? How has communication been taught to health professionals and how might it be improved? How can health care professionals make the most of short encounters in order to maximise their therapeutic effectiveness for clients? This book provides a comprehensive and critical review of the field of health communication and the kinds of evidence that have been collected concerning effective communication. It also critically evaluates the kinds of training health professionals receive in communication skills and examines its relatively limited role in the curriculum. In addition it sets out what has been discovered about the micro-structure of interaction in health care encounters. The book offers vital new agendas for research training and practice in health care, based upon lessons learned from linguistics, using a wide variety of gathered evidence to identify patterns that will lead to improved health care practices. Moreover, the book focuses upon brief, ordinary and effective communicative activity in addition to the formal consultations that have been studied by researchers in the past. Evidence-based Health Communication is key reading for trainee health professionals as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of health studies, medical sociology and health psychology. It also provides stimulating reading for health care professionals, policy makers and researchers with an interest in improving health communication.