The Health Communication Research Review highlights new and exciting research in health and medical communication. This series aims to give you ideas and inspiration for creating effective, useful health content that makes a difference.
Click on the links to read the full studies (some articles may require a fee).
Mobile tech could help to reduce substance abuse in young people
Mobile technology is a promising tool for reducing substance use and warrants further development, according to a systematic review conducted by American researchers.
Reaching high-risk drinkers using segmentation
Market segmentation has rarely been used in alcohol research but could be a promising way to reach this audience, suggest researchers writing in the journal Alcoholism. The researchers propose characteristics such as lifestyles, interests, consumer behaviours, alcohol consumption behaviours, other health-related behaviours, and cultural values, could be extremely valuable in targeting and planning public health campaigns.
Study identifies reasons why people don’t get the flu vax
Researchers surveyed people living in Ontario to learn more about the reasons why only one-third of the population received the flu vaccine in 2013/2014.
Exploring the impact of celebrity cancer death in social media
How do people share celebrity cancer deaths, and does this sharing result in more or less donation, volunteering, and cancer discussion? This research, published in the Journal of Health Communication, explored the social impact of a recent celebrity cancer death.
Do point of sale anti-smoking ads work?
Researchers looked at smokers’ reactions to graphic anti-smoking ads displayed at the point of sale to work out how effective these ads are. Graphic ads “elicited more negative emotion and affective dissonance” than benefits of quitting ads, suggesting the importance of the “competitive pro-tobacco context in which antismoking ads will be viewed.”
Social support keeps people engaged in health apps
This study, published in the Journal of Health Communication, examines how weight loss apps can help people to use the power of and group support to change unhealthy behaviours and achieve their health goals.
What factors could motivate young people to drink more water?
Researchers wanted to test promos to help Central American Latino urban youth to drink more water; they held discussions with 10 small groups of young people. The research team suggest that “a promotional campaign should include bicultural messages to underscore the power of water to quench true thirst, highlight the health benefits of drinking water, and address the safety of tap water.”
Targeted communication + storytelling can influence specific populations
Targeted narratives have the power to persuade specific populations, according to researchers from the University of Utah, who looked at targeted breast cancer screening messages for Mormon women. “This finding will help researchers to explicate how targeted narratives impact audiences and provide communication practitioners in public health, advertising, and other fields with greater insight into an oft-used strategy,” the team wrote.
Which sources help to encourage smokers to quit?
Research published in the journal Health Education Research looked at how smokers perceived eight sources of smoking-related health advice, categorised into evidence-based, non-evidence-based, personal experience, and vicarious experience.