Tweeting about #diseases and #publichealth: Communicating global health issues across nations
Researchers investigated 1,200 tweets from 12 national health departments in an attempt to better understand their use of Twitter in communicating global health issues, according to a study published in the Journal of Health Communication.
Results from the quantitative content analysis showed the Tweets did not cover a substantial range of health topics, with cardiovascular disease rarely mentioned.
Health literacy studies conducted in Australia: A scoping review
Researchers analysed 9696 studies exploring health literacy (HL) in Australia in review published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Results from the review highlighted three central themes; health literacy and health numeracy, health literacy measurement methods and its domains and a comparison of; knowledge gain, knowledge deficiency and the current healthcare system.
Among the findings, relatively low levels of health literacy were established, which are related to health-behaviours, consumption of healthcare resources and use of the health system among consumers.
Can parental engagement in social media enhance outcomes of an online healthy lifestyle program for preschool-aged children?
An online healthy lifestyle program for parents with preschool-aged children was explored in a study published in the Journal of Health Communication.
The intervention group received an online program and also had access to a Facebook group.
Parental engagement was measured by posts and comments on Facebook, with results collected at baseline, 3 and 6 months.
Results showed a high level of membership on the group Facebook page, with parents engaging at least once; however, there was some variation between cohorts.
Message analyses about vaccines in the print press, television and radio: Characteristics and gaps in previous research
Researchers analysed media (radio, print and television) communications on vaccine messages from five international databases between 2007 and 2018 in a study published in the Journal of Communication in Healthcare.
From the database search, 27 studies were eligible for review.
Findings from the studies all found inaccurate messaging around vaccines and vaccination, with a greater number of negative messaging around vaccines being reported.
Patients’ perceptions of portal use across care settings: Qualitative study
Scientists interviewed120 patients who had used an inpatient portal service during their hospital admission for a qualitative study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
The aim of the study was to better understand the implications a portal use had for the patient in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Patients were interviewed over three time periods including; hospitalisation, 15 days and 6 months post-hospitalisation.
Conclusions from the study found patient portal use is increasing.
Reported benefits of portal use included; access to personal health information, communication with their healthcare providers and increased engagement.
Concerns of portal use included data security as well as technology issues.
‘Operator, please’ — Connecting truth and power at the science-policy interface
In this special editorial, published in the Journal of Science Communication, authors offer insight into the intersection of science and politics and how these complex and sometimes competing interfaces are communicated throughout time.
A common thread from past to present day is that the willingness to listen and accept evidence-based science is very much dependent on the alignment with political and public agenda.
Pinterest homemade sunscreens: A recipe for sunburn
The emergence of social media platforms such as Pinterest has revolutionised the way individuals seek and use health-based information.
Such a revolution has led to increased awareness and use of potentially hazardous products, such as homemade sunscreens which are not regulated or tested with the same rigour as commercial sunblock products.
In a study published in the Journal of Health Communication, researchers used directed content analysis to investigate how homemade sunscreens were conveyed on Pinterest, a platform which has over 175 million users.
Results showed that the majority of pins (95.2%) positively portrayed the use of homemade sunblock, despite inadequate UV protection.
This study highlights an opportunity for health professionals to engage more actively on social media platforms to challenge the acceptance of inadequate sun protection products and related information.
How should sugar-sweetened beverage health warnings be designed? A randomised experiment
Researchers investigated whether the type and characteristic of a warning label placed on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) had an impact on consumers’ perception and behaviour of that health message.
A sample of 1,360 US adults completed an online questionnaire, where participants were randomly allocated to view different SSB health warnings and their characteristics.
Results suggested using health warnings which describe actual health effects, contain a ‘WARNING’ and are octagon in shape had more of an impact on consumers. The research was published in Preventative Medicine.
It’s not all about autism: The emerging landscape of anti-vaccination sentiment on Facebook
Researchers investigated 197 individuals who posted anti-vaccination messages on Facebook in an attempt to; characterise and understand the information and spread of the messages.
Results from quantitative coding and descriptive and social network analysis revealed the majority of individuals were female (89%), with four main themes of information being posted including; ‘’trust’’, ‘’alternatives’’, ‘’conspiracy’’ and ‘’safety’’ – suggesting social media platforms such as Facebook facilitate and promote messages of anti-vaccination information. The study was published in Vaccine.
Consumer neuroscience and digital/social media health/social cause advertisement effectiveness
Research published in Behavioral Sciences explored consumer neuroscience and the impact on public health and social cause (HSC) advertisements that were action/emotion-based in nature.
Using both an electroencephalography (EEG) (n=47) and an online psychometric survey (n=256), researchers measured participants’ ‘’attention’’ to these health-based advertisements, a key factor in determining the adverts’ effectiveness.
Both results from the EEG and survey indicated the use of raw emotion and vulnerability, as depicted in male faces on the advert, held the greatest effect.