by Michelle Guillemard
Epilogues to TV shows can educate viewers about stigmatized mental health conditions
Epilogues to television shows could help to educate viewers and combat misinformation, according to the results of a study that looked at viewer responses to an epilogue with an educational subtext about bipolar disorder. The authors wrote that epilogues could be useful in mass media portrayals of stigmatised health conditions. The study was published in the journal Health Communication.
Natural cigarettes create health halo – an editorial
Researchers from Stanford discuss a cigarette brand that uses health-oriented marketing terms such as ‘natural’ and ‘addictive-free natural tobacco’ and ‘made with organic tobacco’ which create inaccurate notions about their products. The editorial appears in the American Journal of Public Health.
Phone survey looks at ‘believability’ in smoking disease messages
Researchers measuring ‘message believability’ in smokers found that messages about smoking and cancer (liver and colon cancer) were more believable than messages about smoking and chronic disease (tuberculosis and diabetes). The findings suggest there are ‘important differences’ in the ‘believability’ of tobacco-related information. The research was published in Preventive Medicine.
Attractiveness and source expertise of online content
Even small variations in the presentation of online content influence their perceived credibility and how we interact with the content, say researchers writing in the journal Health Communication.
Understanding the complex drivers of vaccine hesitancy
Researchers from Virginia Tech constructed semantic networks of vaccine information from online articles shared by Twitter users in the United States to work out how understanding vaccine sentiment in online social media can enhance understanding of the scope and variability of current attitudes and beliefs toward vaccines. The study was published in the journal Vaccine.
We still don’t have a unified strategy for communicating behaviour change
A literature review of message framing and message tailoring, conducted by Canadian researchers, suggested that ‘a messaging strategy that has consistently led to healthy behaviour change has yet to be identified.’ The paper also discusses the importance of tailoring messages, and focusing on self-determined motives and intrinsic goals.
Friends don’t let friends smoke
Could non-smoking friends of smokers help them to quit? This study looked at what non-smokers thought of anti-smoking messages delivered in both narrative and non-narrative format. The results suggested the non-smokers perceived fewer health risks of their close friends than an average college student. The research was published in Health Communication.
Preconception care ‘the next frontier’
Preconception care is the next frontier in improving maternal-child health care, according to a short communication piece published in the journal Public Health. More focus on preconception care could help to reduce pregnancy complications and childhood diseases.
A brief measure of reactance to health warnings
Researchers developed and validated a Reactance to Health Warnings Scale (RHWS) which, they propose, could serve as an effective addition to the development of persuasive messages. The report was published in Health Communication.