by Michelle Guillemard
What motivates people to use diet and fitness apps?
This study explored how seven gratifications obtained from the use of diet and fitness apps may motivate users to continue their use of these apps.
“The results showed that, except for accuracy and entertainment, all other motivations—credibility, comprehensibility, recordability, networkability, and trendiness —significantly and positively predicted intentions to continue using diet/fitness apps,” the authors wrote.
The findings were published in Health Communication.
Text messages didn’t help teens change behaviours
Despite previous evidence that interventions using SMS reminders can promote antiretroviral therapy adherence, this study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, shows that text messages aren’t always effective in achieving behaviour change.
Fear-mongering or fact-driven?
An online experiment with 1,324 participants, published in Health Communication, investigated the interplay of the form of news coverage (factual/emotion-laden) and key aspects of actual risk (low/high vulnerability, low/high severity) on audience responses.
Participants read one of eight versions of a newspaper article followed by measures on risk perceptions, negative affect, behavioural intentions and perceived sensationalism.
The influence of news coverage and Google searches on Gardasil adverse event reporting
Public concerns about potentially unpleasant or harmful outcomes may have been influenced by news coverage and internet search volumes, as opposed to being related to the vaccination itself.
According to the study, published in Vaccine, higher news coverage contributed to subsequent adverse event reporting, news coverage had part of its effect through increased Google search volumes and Google searches may index public anxiety about a public health initiative.
The transformative power of authentic conversations about cancer
Effective health communication interventions are often guided by the theory that actors performing content should be ethnically and culturally homogeneous with target audiences. This study, published in Health Communication, challenged this notion.
“Audience members’ responses to a theatrical production, reenacting verbatim telephone conversations between White family members throughout a cancer journey, revealed unexpected and theoretically significant findings: Family communication about cancer triggers equal, and in some cases greater, positive impacts from non-White audience members,” the authors wrote.
The doctor versus the internet: effects of low-, medium-, and high-quality websites on intentions to follow the doctor’s advice
The study authors sought to examine whether the general public is led astray by the plethora of online health information.
In the study, 418 participants 25–80 years old were randomly assigned to read real websites that varied in quality of information about diabetes: high (medically accurate and complete), medium (accurate but incomplete), and low (inaccurate).
Revisiting the role of fear in persuasion
Researchers studied the role of fear in persuasion and argued that fear should be “reinstated into a central role in fear appeal theories and the process of persuasion in general.”
The research was published in Health Communication.
Examining the impacts of health literacy on healthcare costs
Poor health literate patients are assumed to be at high risk of exacerbation of their health problems, which in turn contributes to rising healthcare costs, argue researchers writing in the journal Health Services Management Research.