To retweet or not to retweet: Understanding what features of cardiovascular tweets influence their retransmission
Researchers analysed a sample of 1,251 US-originating tweets about cardiovascular disease, based on style, content and source, in a study published by the Journal of Health Communication.
The researchers wanted to predict which characteristics resulted in a greater number of retweets between 2009 and 2015.
Results from the study showed that the number of retweets was positively associated with the source of health organisation and message utility, but negatively associated with the presence of a URL and non-health organisation source.
Furthermore, tweets regarding treatment and management of CVD resulted in less retweets when compared with risk factor-focused tweets.
Findings from this study offer insight into potential communication strategies for optimal CVD message dissemination on social networking sites
The impact of talking about patients’ internet use on patient-reported outcomes
Now more than ever, there is a wealth of health-related information available to patients on the internet. However, there has been little research done to investigate the role and impact this information plays in patient outcomes post consultation.
A mixed methods study, published in the Journal of Health Communication, examined just this. Through survey data (n=160) and qualitative videoed consultations (n = 165), researchers found that just over half of patients had researched health information on the internet prior to having a consultation.
And, in approximately half of these consultations, the web-based health information was discussed.
Results showed that if the online information was discussed during the consultation, patients were more satisfied with their consult.
Additionally, there was a positive association with recall of medical information and patient satisfaction in those consults where the online health information had been discussed.
Development of a participatory health communication intervention: an ecological approach to reducing rural information inequality and health disparities
A lack of access to relevant health information has been suggested to be one of the contributing factors to health inequality in rural communities.
In a study published by the Journal of Healthcare Communication, researchers, as well as participants from a rural, Latino community in Los Angeles, developed a health communication asset mapping tool.
The aim of the tool was to serve three main communication functions: informational, conversational and connection.
Results from this study provide insight into a culture-centred focus on understanding the communication requirements in response to the health needs of a rural community.
Effects of self-transcendence on neural responses to persuasive messages and health behaviour change
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America investigated the idea of self-transcendence (change in frame of mind) in 220 sedentary adults, and the impact this could have on perception of health messages and subsequent behaviour change (ie increased physical activity levels).
Results showed those individuals who undertook a self-transcendence task prior to being exposed to a health message had increased levels of physical activity during the following month compared to controls.
And, self-transcendence tasks also showed an increased activity in the sub-regions of the prefrontal cortex, linked to positive feedback and self-related processing, which was associated with reduced sedentary behaviour.
Health literacy in chronic disease management: a matter of interaction
In this open access commentary published in the Journal of Epidemiology, the authors discuss the idea of health literacy not solely being measured by the skill of one individual, but rather as a dynamic amalgamation of many components, in the management and treatment of chronic disease.
These components include the communication-skill of the healthcare professional, the access to health-care systems and the complexity of the health information.
The ideas discussed in this article provide an insight into the management of chronic disease, whilst considering health literacy as a dynamic and multi-component construct.
Understanding women’s stories about drinking: implications for health interventions
In an open access, qualitative study published by the journal Health Education Research, 89 blogs were analysed from a non-commercial website called ‘Drinking Diaries’(www.drinkingdiaries.com) in an attempt to answer the research question: What are the narratives about women and drinking on online blogs?
Results from analysing these blogs identified four distinct narratives related to women’s drinking in their various stages of life, and included; youth (the narrative of good girl vs bad), adulthood (narrative of pleasure), old age (the narrative of sin).
Such insights into the different narratives women use in relation to their drinking can provide information for specific future intervention programmes and campaigns regarding women’s drinking.
Theoretical advancements in mHealth: A systematic review of mobile apps
In a systematic review published in the Journal of Health Communication, researchers analysed 85 empirical studies on mobile health (mHealth) apps using an Input-Mechanisms-Output model, in an attempt to understand how technology in the apps translate into better healthcare outcomes for users.
Results from the literature found a greater importance placed on the technology inputs (such as usability, usage and data quality) compared with health outputs (such as system processes and individual behaviour change or health outcomes).
The implications and use for future mobile health apps are discussed.
Consumer engagement with prescription medicine decisions: influences of health beliefs and health communication sources
The decision consumers make in their choice of prescription drug is driven by a number of factors, including; structural, psychological as well as factors involving communication of health information.
In a study published by the journal of Health Communication, researchers surveyed 370 US adult consumers to further understand these various factors that drive prescription drug choice. Results showed the utilisation of health communication sources significantly impacted on the decision engagement model more so than structural factors.
Differential effects of content-oriented versus user-oriented social media on risk perceptions and behavioural intentions
In a study published by Health Communication, researchers analysed survey data from 688 South Korean adults, in an attempt to understand the cognitive mechanisms which underpin behavioural outcomes as a result of exposure to risk information (carcinogenic hazards) on social media.
Furthermore, researchers investigated which types of social media (content-based vs user-based) have a greater impact on risk perception and associated behaviours.
Results from the study found self-reported content-based social media exposure to risk information was significantly associated with both community-level and personal-level perceptions of risk.
In contrast, user-based social media exposure to risk information had no influence on perceptions of risk or subsequent behaviour outcomes.
Receipt and perceived helpfulness of mental illness information: findings from the Australian national survey of mental health and wellbeing
Data from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing was analysed in a study published by Health Communication in an aim to assess the receipt and perceived usefulness of mental health information.
Results indicated that 33.7% of Australians received mental health information in the year prior to the survey and of these, 51.2% found the information useful.
However some groups including; non-English speakers, socially disadvantaged, less-educated and the elderly were less likely to receive mental health information.
Results suggest a need for more targeted mental health information interventions to ensure those groups who are most likely to benefit from such information, receive it.