Single Overriding Communication Objective (SOCHO): Recommendations for the Laboratory-Based Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae

| February 18, 2015
A. Review the MMWR article in textbox (p65). Find an associated press release on-line. Go to MMWR website and select (1) MMWR article.
Prepare single overriding communication objective (SOCHO) for this article Text p 62-65 can assist. B. Write 1 press release for lay
audiences about a public health issue
As for level of scientific consensus, this short MMWR article is obviously not a research synthesis. However, it does contain
important contextual information to allow readers to understand where the findings “fit” based on prior research. Here are several
examples of useful contextual information in the article:
1. Measles is rare in the United States; the last U.S. outbreak occurred in 2000 and it was the largest outbreak (i.e., most number
of cases) since 1998.
2. Imported cases (i.e., infected persons traveling from one country to another) are an important source for outbreaks.
3. Two doses of the measles-containing vaccine are highly effective.
4. Findings were consistent with other studies, e.g., unvac-cinated persons and persons receiving one vaccine dose are at greater
Assessing the quality of scientific information depends heavily on the credibility of the source, and this article on the measles
outbreak is no different. Source factors (e.g., authors and their institutions; the publication itself and its publisher) for an MMWR
are essentially one and the same: the CDC.* The MMWR is an official publication of this federal agency and has been published on a
weekly basis by the CDC since 1961.20
‘Several of the authors of the MMWR article worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the New York City Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene, but the final responsibility for all the content in an MMWR article rests with staff members at CDC.
The CDC stands behind the content of this and all other MMWR articles. Articles submitted for publication undergo an extensive review
process at multiple levels of the agency and by higher-level officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Given
CDC’s long history of credibility as the federal government’s leading public health agency, particularly with regard to infectious
disease outbreak investigations (for many years, it was called the Communicable Disease Center), it is reasonable to assume that the
scientific findings, conclusions, and recommendations reported in CDC publications are valid and trustworthy.
After assessing the quality of the science, the process of deconstructing the MMWR data and text into messages for communication
Before getting into the specifics of the measles outbreak, the first consideration should be to determine the SOCO. There is no simple
formula or one “right way” to decide on the SOCO; however, here’s a suggested SOCO for the measles study based on text from the first
paragraph of this article:
Despite high levels of immunization, some people are still at risk for contracting measles from people who recently traveled to
countries where measles is common. To minimize the risk, all school-aged children should receive 2 doses of a measles vaccine, and
healthcare providers need to consider measles as a diagnosis among people who return from traveling abroad.

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