What influences people’s responses to public health messages for managing risks and preventing infectious diseases? A rapid systematic review of the evidence and recommendations

Ghio, D ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0580-0205, Lawes-Wickwar, S, Tang, M, Epton, T, Howlett, N, Jenkinson, E and et al, 2020, What influences people’s responses to public health messages for managing risks and preventing infectious diseases? A rapid systematic review of the evidence and recommendations [Experiment].

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Abstract

Background Population level behaviour change, requiring individual behaviour change such as hand hygiene and physical distancing, are central to reducing transmission of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, but little is known about how best to communicate this type of risk reducing information, and how populations might respond. We conducted a rapid systematic review to identify and synthesise evidence relating to: a) What characterises effective public-health messages for managing risk and preventing infectious disease, and b) What influences people’s responses to public-health messages. Methods Rapid systematic review methodology was used. We included all study designs and grey literature. Non-English language papers were excluded. Ovid Medline, Ovid PsycINFO and Healthevidence.org were searched alongside PsyarXiv and OSF Preprints up to May 2020. A narrative synthesis was conducted. Findings We identified 70 eligible papers: 3 systematic reviews, 54 individual papers and 14 pre-prints. To influence behaviour effectively at the population level, public-health messages need to be acceptable, credible and trustworthy, to increase the public’s understanding and perceptions of the threat. Interpretation Key recommendations are to: engage communities in the development of public-health messaging, use credible and legitimate sources, address uncertainty immediately and with transparency, focus on unifying messages from all sources, and develop messages aimed at increasing understanding, induce social responsibility and empower personal control. Embedding these principles of behavioural science into public-health messaging is an important step towards more effective health-risk communication for managing risk, promoting protective behaviours and preventing disease during epidemics/pandemics.

Item Type: Experiment
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Daniela Ghio
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2021 09:02
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:48
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/59271

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