by Michelle Guillemard
Health policy message efficacy in politically-charged contexts
New research helps us appreciate how readers perceive messages during specific health policy debates. “Messages designed to educate readers or consumers that are delivered in politically charged contexts—as most health policy debates are—can either persuade or trigger the motivation to maintain one’s belief more firmly,” wrote researchers in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.
Calorie labelling does encourage lower-calorie choices
Researchers who examined the effect of menu calorie labeling and self-control on food and beverage choices found that calorie labeling increased the likelihood of choosing lower calorie food and beverage options.
Strategic wording in HPV text messages
“Vaccination reminders must both inform and persuade, and text messages designed for this purpose must do so in 160 characters or less,” wrote researchers in the journal Vaccine. The US research team investigated whether strategic wording strategies could improve the impact of HPV vaccination text message reminders.
What do students remember about the misuse of prescription stimulants?
Researchers studied the various types of messages that college students remember about the misuse of prescription stimulants. The team then examined how those messages are associated with students’ intention to use stimulants. The research was published in the journal Health Communication.
Does media coverage of breastfeeding encourage breastfeeding?
An American group of researchers examined more than 300 news articles covering topics related to breastfeeding, including health benefits, societal reform efforts, social/human interest stories, parenting choices, and stories about pumped breast milk and formula. The researchers wanted to understand media messages on the topic, “given that breastfeeding is influenced by many environmental factors and that perceived norms, social support, and perceptions of difficulties predict breastfeeding.” The analysis was published in Health Communication.
Creating “the generation that ends smoking”
Premiering truth ads (truth is a US anti-smoking campaign) during a popular, culturally relevant televised event was associated with higher awareness of these ads and increased social engagement related to the tobacco prevention mass media.
Social marketing campaigns for bike helmet awareness
People exposed to a social bike helmet awareness campaign had higher values in self-efficacy, intention and bicycle helmet use, according to research published in the journal Injury Prevention.
How does HPV message framing shape disclosure and intention?
Researchers looked at two framing strategies—whether to mention that HPV is sexually transmitted and whether to highlight the cause of infection as internal or external—in order to analyse young people’s intentions to disclose a potential diagnosis and their intentions to get the recommended HPV vaccine.
Public health professionals urgently need to develop more effective communications strategies
Roy Grant, a public health research consultant and associate editor at the AJPH, asks: How can the public health community more effectively promote evidence-based public health policy? Grant offers some strategies in this short editorial, published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Measuring reactance to anti-smoking messages
Researchers developed and validated a brief Reactance to Health Warnings Scale which, they argue, can serve as an efficient adjunct to the development of persuasive messages. “Our brief scale is an efficient and psychometrically strong measure of reactance to health messages,” the team wrote in the Journal of Behavioural Medicine.