A practical guide for healthcare professionals to help improve communication during major disease outbreaks was launched Monday 2 February 2015.

The Practical Guide for Risk Communication is part of the TELL ME project - an EU-funded programme to develop evidence-based models and tools for improved risk communication during major infectious disease outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics.

The guide is a collaborative effort between BMJ, CEDARthree, Istituto Superiore di Sanità and Zadig Srl. It comprises a collection of four guidance documents geared towards healthcare professionals, public health officials, and decision-makers in the fields of infectious disease management and communication.

The guide offers practical recommendations and tools to support the development of evidence-based messages, tailored for different populations, target groups and cultures at different phases of a major infectious disease outbreak.

"Since the outbreak of the H1N1 or 'swine flu' virus, communication has become a central issue for managing risk," says Mitali Wroczynski, Business Development Manager at BMJ.

"Communication is strengthened when institutions, healthcare professionals, and other community groups - who form part of the wider social network - engage in constructive, open and transparent dialogue. This guide provides clear, practical advice that can be adapted to specific risk situations to help effective information exchange during a public health crisis."

For more information, please visit http://tellmeproject.eu/