From superheros to science: Using comic strips in science communication
41 volunteer Trainee Science Comic Authors (TSCA) attended a 12-hour workshop and created a one-page comic strip about an aspect of the science presented by French PhD students.
The open access study available in the Journal of Science Communication, found scientific integrity is lost in the comic strip narrative. However the authors argued reading science stories created in comic strips could foster the emergence of critical thinking.
Are anti-vaxxers immune to humour?
Researchers are challenging parent resistance to vaccination, by using humourous messages to correct false beliefs and persuade parents.
Using humourous and non-humourous messages about the risks from the MMR vaccine, the findings revealed a satirical message led to greater perceptions of measles severity, which in turn reduced vaccine resistance.
The study abstract is available in the Journal of Health Communication.
Culturally appropriate core messaging remains essential for engagement
A study of rural low-income families has reinforced the value of tailoring messages and channels of message dissemination. A learner engagement approach was found to increase the likelihood core messaging remains relevant.
Published in Health Communication, the authors conclude their findings could provide, “a model for researchers and health educations to co-create messages in a desired format (e.g., length, voice, level of empathy, tone).”
Over 30 years of meta-analyses uncover a negative population effect
A huge summary of meta-analyses in quantitative communication research has been conducted, which included investigating trends from 1984 until 2015 in health communication.
The analysis found trends in several communication research topics, such as computerised interventions and media-based campaigns. However, researchers uncovered the largest effect in health communication involved the deleterious impact of text messaging on driving performance.
The summary abstract is available in Annals of the International Communication Association.
I sought it, I Reddit: The influence of health content sourced from Reddit
User-generated content on social media is becoming an increasing source of engaging with health information. But how influential is this information on their lives?
389 adult users of the social media platform Reddit were surveyed to gauge how the health information sourced influenced their own behaviour. The study published in the Journal of Health Communication found regardless of perceived credibility, both men and women had a level of trust in the information found on Reddit and would try to act on it.
How to use social media as a tool in health education
US researchers have investigated how to effectively use social media for dissemination of patient education interventions in Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Published in the Journal of Communication in Healthcare, they found advertising on the Alzheimer’s Association Facebook page was used to successful advertise visiting the website AlzU.org. 11% of these users joined the association to learn more about AD prevention and treatment.
eHealth could help doctors tailor health prevention information
In Europe, breast cancer screening relies on women taking the initiative, in part triggered by their healthcare provider or by their own experiences with breast cancer in their families or social networks.
Belgian researchers have found using an online interactive information portal helped to understand the type of information women sought, their top of mind questions and positive and negative sentiments. In the article published in the Journal of Communication in Healthcare they wrote, “The study provides insights into opportunities for optimising communication on breast cancer to create more persuasive communication and more engagement in early diagnosis and prevention.”
Credible online content: Facebook ‘likes’ matter
Creating shareable content is essential for online information. This US study also found popular content, or the number of ‘likes’ on Facebook posts, influenced users perceptions of credibility.
The researchers investigated gain and loss framed posts relating to physical activity and alcohol consumption. They concluded, “It may be useful to take into account aspects of social endorsement when creating and disseminating health promotion messages.”
The study was published in the Journal of Health Communication.
Revisiting (again!) the role of fear in persuasion
As a follow up to our research review on fear appeals in persuasive health communication, there is still mixed support for its approach.
This study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology again supports the notion that threatening or fear-mongering communication shouldn’t be used to encourage attitude and behaviour changes. Using messages for Ebola vaccination, the researchers found efficacy messages more significantly influenced the 447 participants compared to threatening messages.
Source testing: perceptions of source credibility on message compliance
Most of us are aware to make health communication effective, we should take into account the values of our audience. A study from two European data sets published in Health Communication has found perceptions of source, influenced credibility of information.
Source credibility consisted of both expertise and trustworthiness; “A source that is perceived as more credible is found to increase message compliance.”