Understanding the spread of misinformation in a public health crisis
In a study published in the Journal of Health Communication, researchers sought to understand the impact of misinformation via on an online survey of 700 participants.
The hypothetical situation of a disease outbreak was used to simulate a public health crisis.
Participants were first exposed to misinformation that was then followed up by two different types of corrective information (simple refutation vs detailed factual information).
This was compared with the control group who only received misinformation.
The source of information was also varied and included; government sources, news media sources and social peers.
Results showed that corrective information in the form of simple refutation dispels misinformation; however detailed factual information, compared to simple refutation, motivates proactive change.
Furthermore, government and news media sources have a greater impact on mediating belief accuracy.
Patients look for trust when communicating with healthcare providers
Researchers investigated the role of communication between patient and healthcare provider from 3273 data-sets collected in the US 2012 Health Information National Trends Survey.
Results from the study which was published in the Journal of Health Communication showed that trust was a critical element in patient perceptions of healthcare quality and communication received by their healthcare provider.
Evaluating a campaign promoting ‘active play’
A study published in the Journal of Health Communication investigated the effectiveness of a TV campaign ‘Make Room for Play’.
The campaign was aimed at educating parents around the importance of active play and how screen time negatively impacts on this.
The researchers collated data through a survey of 1576 parents and caregivers.
Parental support was significantly (p=0.009) higher in those who could recall the campaign.
There was a greater number of parents engaging in active play with their children (24%) as well as creating active play opportunities for their children (21.2%) compared to those who could not recall the campaign (14% and 12% respectively).
Australian university student perceptions of health messages on cigarette sticks
A study published in the Journal of Health Communication investigated the effectiveness of current health warnings on cigarette packaging.
The researchers sent out an online survey to 479 first year Australian University students.
Participants were asked to rate the effectiveness of the warnings, compared with warnings placed on individual cigarettes, which were divided into four main themes.
Results rated immediate and short-term consequences, long-term mortality consequences and social and financial consequences as being significantly (p<0.001) more effective than current health warnings on cigarette packages.
Messages about reducing red meat intake
In an aim to better understand framing around red meat consumption messages, researchers conducted an online questionnaire involving 247 young adults.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Health Communication, investigated the effectiveness of both factual and pre-factual messages focused on health and wellbeing concerns.
The team also looked at the persuasive impact these messages had on participants, based on their level of eating self-efficiency and consumption of red meat.
Results showed the level of participants’ self-efficiency moderated the intention to reduce their intakes of red meat – with respect to pre-factual wellbeing messages and factual health messages.
Women with eating disorders using the internet
A study published in the Journal of Health Communication explored the impact the internet had (both helpful and harmful) on people during their eating disorder journey.
The researchers collected information via 30 in-depth interviews with women (16-28yrs) from the Czech Republic.
Data was analysed based on six different online platforms; non-professional pro-eating disorder; non-professional pro-recovery; social networking sites; professional help platforms; platforms for counting calories and weight-related goals; and platforms about diet and exercise.
Results from the interviews highlighted the degree to which these platforms were positively beneficial were dependent on the individuals’ desire to seek treatment.
The findings also suggested that some platforms that were aimed at recovery could be used to maintain illness.
Changes in communication tensions for men facing prostate cancer
In a longitudinal study published in the Journal of Communication in Healthcare, researchers followed 25 men who had undergone a prostate biopsy, investigating how communication tensions changed during a three year period.
Semi-structured interviews and relational dialect theory (a type of interpersonal communication theory) at the initial stage (T1) of the study as well as at three years follow up (T2) showed the tensions were both contextual and time-specific.
Results from this study offer insight into the prostate-related tensions men experience during their treatment and recovery.
The influence of a personal HPV blog story
In an attempt to better understand blogs about personal health stories and the impact this has on perceived ‘social norms’ by the reader, researchers recruited 220 students to read a blog about HPV.
Participants read either a gain-framed format (ie the blogger received the HPV vaccine and prevented cancer) or a loss-framed format (ie the blogger did not receive the HPV vaccine, and subsequently development cancer) with both high and low social media metrics.
Results from the study, published in the Journal of Health Communication, indicated a greater number of students identified with the positive-framed blog, especially in those students who had received the vaccine.
This was positively associated with both descriptive and injunctive norms; however this was mediated by social media metrics.
How does media HIV/AIDS media exposure influence young girls?
In a study published in the Journal of Health Communication, researchers randomly selected 500 adolescent Islamiyya girls from Bauchi, Nigeria in an attempt to understand how HIV/AIDS media exposure impacts on knowledge, attitudes and practice (KAP) in these girls.
Results showed that whilst HIV/AIDS knowledge was a significant predictor of HIV/AIDS attitudes and practice.
Media exposure was only a significant predictor of HIV/AIDS knowledge and not practice.
Understanding cancer metaphors
In a study published in the Journal of Health Communication, researchers investigated the differences in the use of language and metaphors among Spanish and Latina women who had breast cancer.
Results from examining 51 breast cancer narratives revealed Latina women use the idea of spirituality in their use of metaphors to depict their experience with cancer.
Whilst Spanish women used metaphors more frequently in their narratives of cancer compared to Latina women, themes of spirituality were not present in their narratives.