Medical marketing in the United States, 1997-2016
A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association analysed data from a number of sources related to consumer advertising and professional marketing from 1997- 2016 in an attempt to review and quantify the degree of medical marketing (campaigns on disease awareness, prescription drugs, laboratory tests and health services) over the 20 year period.
Results from the data analysis showed substantial increases in the 20 year period, with medical marketing spend increasing from $17.7 billion to $29.9 billion, and pharmaceutical marketing to healthcare professionals accounting for the most promotional spend (increasing from $15.6 billion to $20.3 billion). The authors noted that despite the significant increases in marketing over the 20 year period, regulatory controls remains minimal.
The importance of dialogue: communication strategy for empowerment of low-income African American patients
A study published in the Journal of Communication in Healthcare investigated via in-depth interviews, the types of communication styles and techniques healthcare providers believed they utilised in empowering low-income African American patients with their health outcomes.
Results indicated healthcare providers believed in a patient-centred approach to communication with a focus on working with their patients in collaboration, rather than providing them with direct health advice on what they should do.
Appearance framing versus health framing of health advice: assessing the effects of a YouTube channel for adolescent girls
In a study published in the Journal of Health Communication, researchers explored the impact of appearance-framed (experimental condition) versus health-framed (control condition) advice on 154 teenage girls aged between 14 – 17 years (M=15.67yrs), who viewed this advice via a YouTube channel.
Appearance-framed advice had the intention of making the girls want to ‘look better’, in contrast the health-framed advice was aimed to make the girls’ ‘feel better’.
Advice was given on; yoga, drinking water and applying sunscreen in an aim to explore the girls’ state of self-objectification (the perception of how other’s perceive their bodies, or externally perceived traits), as well as their inclination for products that improved their image and appearance anxiety.
Results indicated the impact of how health advice is framed differs among adolescence, with younger girls being more influenced by appearance-framed health advice.
Restorative narratives for health promotion
A study published in the journal of Health Communication explored the idea of storytelling and the impact different narratives had on health outcomes. The study compared restorative narratives (stories of resilience and optimism) with negative narratives (which focus on stories of suffering).
Findings suggest that stories based on restorative narratives encourage more positive social behaviour. This study lends insight into the different narratives for health campaigners, when considering the type of narrative they wish to deliver their health messages in.
Using user-feedback to develop a website: MyT1DHope, for parents of children with T1D
In a study published by the journal of Health Communication, researchers aimed to develop a resource as a primary measure for parents of children with type 1 diabetes, using parents’ feedback of the current diabetes websites available. Feedback was obtained through focus groups, surveys and interviews. This feedback was then used in a second stage of the research to help design, build and then pilot an 8 week study of the website specifically focused on providing information to parents of children with T1D.
Results of the pilot suggest parents and caregivers had significantly more knowledge as well as life-satisfaction. This result aims to build on the goal of increasing parents’ ability to cope as well as reduce stress in caring for a family member with type 1 diabetes.
Resources aren’t everything, but they do help: assessing local TV health news to deliver substantive and useful health information
A study published in the Journal of Communication in Healthcare used comparative content analysis to investigate whether organisational resources (such as a stations’ budget) contributed to the differences in reporting of health information news between two local TV stations.
Characteristics of the health stories that were analysed between the two TV stations included; coverage length, quantity of stories, health topics covered and the target population.
Results from the comparative analysis showed a significant correlation between a station’s resources and subsequent health news reporting quality, with a higher quality of reporting in the station which had better organisational resources.
Listen to doctors, friends, or both? Embedded they produce thick knowledge and promote health
What are the perceived benefits of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) advice from our friends (laypeople) and healthcare professionals? And which sources of advice gives us more satisfactory health experiences and outcomes? These were the questions Korean researchers aimed to investigate using data from the 2012 US National Health Interview Survey.
Results from their study published in the Journal of Health Communication reported users of complementary and alternative medical therapies had better health outcomes when using these therapies with both healthcare professional and layperson recommendations. It was thought the dual effect of the advice offered a ‘thick’ blanket of complete information in contrast to receiving CAM advice from just one source.
Does the messenger matter? Impact of scientists and engineers interacting with public audiences at science festival events
A study published in the Journal of Science Communication used a partial proportional odds model to examine 5, 498 attendee surveys from 14 science expos across the USA. Scientists used these expos as an opportunity to engage in educational outreach with their audiences, made up of general public attendees.
Results from the analysis of surveys reported a more positive expo experience by the attendees, if they were able to interact with the scientists directly. Such results lend support for the impact and influence scientists have on how they communicate with their audience and the subsequent perception of attendee’s expo experience.
Sex differences in the association of perceived ambiguity, cancer fatalism, and health-related self-efficacy with fruit and vegetable consumption
In a study published in the Journal of Health Communication, researchers investigated the impact fruit and vegetable intake (FV) had on health-related self-efficacy, perceived indifference to cancer recommendations and beliefs around cancer-mortality, and whether these perceptions were influenced by gender.
Data (n=16,965) for the study was taken from the Health Information National Trends Survey’s (2011 – 2017). Results found significant differences between genders, such that; perceived indifference to cancer recommendations and cancer mortality were more strongly associated with less fruit and vegetable consumption in men than women. Whilst health-related sufficiency was more strongly associated with increased fruit and vegetable consumption in women compared to men.
Cognitive bias in clinicians’ communication about human papillomavirus vaccination
A study published in the Health Communication journal conducted qualitative interviews with 32 paediatric clinicians to explore potential cognitive bias’s relating to the Human Papillomavirus vaccine (HPV).
Results from the interviews highlighted a number of cognitive bias’s including; anchoring bias (that HPV is not relevant for age/adolescent onset), present bias (perception of burden related to vaccination) and optimism bias (the low-risk belief of the HPV). These results indicate a number of clinician bias’s which could impact on the communication given to patients regarding the vaccine.