Health literacy in school students and the need for early education
This study provides a rare insight into how students process and analyse health information and claims. The results suggest health literacy education could begin in the classroom. The authors argue that, without good health literacy skills, students are vulnerable to inaccurate and misleading health information and claims. This vulnerability could mean they make poor health decisions at present as well as later in life, according to a study published in the journal Health Expectations (full-text available free).
Applying Instagram behaviours to other applications has the potential to help people achieve their health goals
Looking at how people use Instagram has the potential to inform healthy tracking tools and give users better access to social support, helping them achieve their health goals, according to a report published in the Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
Reducing alcohol consumption through self-affirmation and storytelling
Women who were encouraged to reflect on their most important personal values and beliefs before listening to a story about alcohol disease were more likely to drink less alcohol afterwards when compared with women who did not self-reflect. This research, published in the Annals of Behavioural Medicine, indicates the potential of storytelling coupled with self-reflection for changing health behaviours.
Manga comics helped teens to eat more fruit
Manga comics could be a useful way to promote positive health behaviours – specifically, eating more fruit – in 13-18 year-olds, say researchers writing in the journal Health Communication.
Confirming what we already assume: Credibility and argument quality influence the attitudes of people with good health knowledge
‘Knowledgeable’ peoples’ attitudes are influenced by the quality of an argument and the credibility of the argument’s sources. Those with high ‘self-reported knowledge’ significantly disapproved of messages that contained what was deemed a low-quality argument.
How preconceived notions influence smokers
In this study, people watched a short video about the link between genetics and smoking/lung cancer before expressing their reactions to the relationship between genes and addiction. The results suggested the preconceived notions of what a genetic risk is influenced the viewers’ beliefs and led to either acceptance or scepticism, wrote researchers in the journal Social Science & Medicine.
Twitter provides insight into real-world mental health discussions
Researchers wanting to identify periods of heightened interest in mental health topics on Twitter found that spikes in tweet volume following a behavioural health event often lasted for less than two days.
Moral messaging and organ donation – health communication analysis
An analysis of organ donation campaigns revealed the critical aspects that highlight the ‘potential conflicts that arise from the ambiguity and wrong information of some messages as well as the risk of inappropriate blaming driven by these campaigns’, write researchers in the journal Health Communication.
Storytelling and medical cannabis
A web-based randomised experiment tested narratives, stigma and disease responsibility with regards to attitudes towards medical cannabis. Narrative (storytelling) videos were better received than non-narrative forms, say researchers from Israel writing in the Journal of Communication.
Uncertainty, anxiety and illness
This meta-analysis looked at 32 studies that examined uncertainty’s effects on anxiety and information management within a variety of illness contexts, such as cancer, sexually transmitted disease and heart disease. The research, published in the Journal of Communication, discusses how to understand and communicate around illness uncertainty.