What’s the best way to communicate health issues to underserved populations?

Improving Food and Drug Administration’s health communications to underserved and minority populations


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to translate cutting-edge science and regulatory concepts into language that the general public, particularly the underserved, can understand and apply to their own health situations.


Westat has conducted nearly 400 interviews to test 2 dozen communication materials produced by, among others, FDA’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, Office of Women’s Health, and Office of Clinical Policy and Programs.

We employ a variety of interview techniques to evaluate products ranging from websites and promotional storyboards to informational brochures and prescription guides. We partner with a wide variety of panel providers to successfully fulfill recruitment goals that focus on respondents with low education, women, and minorities.

Our innovative project structure ensures each message test—from initial request to final report approval—is completed within a few short weeks.


FDA uses Westat’s recommendations based on the interview data to improve the communication materials. FDA is particularly interested in whether participants learn something new from the materials or would act on the calls to action.


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