If you write online health content for the general public, should you consider upskilling in a bit of humour?
We know that people turn to user-generated content on social media to research their health concerns, but how influential is this health information?
And, more importantly, how does this type of influence impact the health content we create?
While there are many evidence-based writing techniques we can use to engage readers to try and get their full, undivided attention, controlling how our readers react to bad news is just as important as engagement. So, if you’re working on a project that requires you to deliver bad news, what’s the most appropriate communication strategy?
Fear mongering and scare tactics are used in public health campaigns to drive behavioural changes. We see fear in headlines for online articles, food label warnings, pamphlets and brochures. But how effective are these fear-based messages?
A US research team aimed to determine the natural indicators of uncertain language and understand how these indicators predict decisional conflict.
Health buzzwords like ‘protein’, ‘paleo’ and ‘organic’ are used by marketers as key selling points for many of today’s health products. Yet these words can also trick consumers into believing a product is healthier than it really is.
As health writers, we focus a lot of our energy on knowledge. We write ‘how to’ articles about eating better, exercising more, breaking bad habits, making healthy choices and reducing risk factors. We offer knowledge – but, we rarely sell the desire to change.
As health writers, we need to recognise and understand the social factors that limit health literacy so we can help our readers understand our health information. We can do this by looking at the key outcomes from a range of health literacy research into both local and global communities.
As health writers, we need to identify the ideal medium to share our key messages to our target audience to ensure our writing influences health outcomes.
While quality medical evidence underlies accurate health writing, clear writing helps the information translate easily – enter the concept of ‘processing fluency’.
Health risk information is better received when you ask your readers to identify their own values and beliefs before communicating the risks.
Could understanding more about selective exposure help us write engaging content? One study looked at how selective exposure influences attitudes towards health behaviours.
New research provides insight into how we can help high-school students understand health information and make better-informed health decisions.
Digital educational interventions play a huge role in helping to educate community members outside the boundaries of traditional clinical care.