New edition of health Communication Digest available


  • Seth Noar introduces an Audience-Channel-Message-Evaluation (ACME) framework for health communication campaigns.
  • Three studies highlight the negative impact of unhealthy mass media messages. Smoking is the focus of all three studies. Glantz et al. observe a substantial increase in onscreen smoking in youth-rated movies. Shandel et al. find that exposure to prosmoking messages is associated with acute changes in future smoking risk among emerging adults. Yuan et al. suggest that lay health influencers may be an important channel for tobacco cessation interventions.
  • The importance of understanding target audiences is illustrated in five studies. Cook-Craig et al. find, for instance, that interpersonal social networks are preferred by health information seekers in low-income urban neighborhoods. Concurrent evidence is provided by Divecha et al. who report that young urban parents prefer private forms of communication, rather than new media technologies, for conversations about sexual health. Yanez et al. emphasize the importance of patient-physician communication among Latinas. On the other hand, Weidman et al. observe that socially anxious individuals use the internet as a compensatory social media (i.e., minimizing face-to-face communication); a strategy that may result in poorer well-being. Johnson et al. outline communication strategies to effectively promote adoption of best practices.
  • Advanced approaches to message design in health communication endeavors are the focus of several studies. Bergkirst et al. suggest that including headlines can benefit short messages with pictorial metaphors. Both Chatterjee and Voorveld et al. examine media mix strategies to enhance cross-media campaign synergies. Both Hendriks et al. and Ledford report that health campaign message design variables can impact subsequent health conversations. Gainforth & Latimer, Hwang et al., and Rolison et al. exploremessage effects on health risk perceptions. And, Teten Tharp et al. discuss communication strategies forglobal dating violence prevention.
  • The effectiveness of health communication and social marketing interventions is demonstrated in severalstudies. Chervin et al. report that a health literacy intervention increased adults’ knowledge about health issues and self-efficacy. Howlett et al. illustrate how state-sponsored agricultural marketing programs increased adult fruit and vegetable consumption. Morrongiello et al. find that an interactive computer game can improve young children’s fire safety knowledge and behavior. Morrongiello et al. also report positive effects from a RCT evaluating the Supervising for Home Safety program.
  • Two studies examined new media behaviors. San José-Cabezudo & Camarero-Izquierdo examinedeterminants of opening and forwarding e-mail messages. van Noort et al. explore social connections and the persuasiveness of viral campaigns in digital social networking.

Read the complete issue here.



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