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Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Communication and Informatics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021) | Viewed by 53080

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Interests: epidemiology; public health; vaccines; vaccine hesitancy; health communication; community outrage; meningococcal disease; infectious diseases; environmental health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue entitled: “Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication” that will be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, which is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, open-access journal in the area of public health. More information about the journal can be found at https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Health Communication is key for virtually every aspect of health and well-being, such as communicable and non-communicable disease prevention, health promotion, and quality of life.

Health Communication strategies are strongly required in order to provide information, advice, and guidance to protect the health of individuals and to address growing phenomena such as the recurrent spread of fake news, which could sharpen dangerous behaviors including poor adherence to health programs (i.e., vaccine hesitancy). For this reason, Health Communication strategies must have the aim to communicate with a key audience, which is represented not only by the general population but also by health-care providers.

This Special Issue is looking forward to publishing evidence and observations in the field, regarding, but not limited, to: attitudes, skills, knowledge and behaviors of health-care providers; health communication strategies; crisis communication; health advocacy; health education; vaccine hesitancy.

We welcome the submission of reviews, original research articles, short communications, editorial letters, systematic reviews, case studies targeting any of these core research questions. 

In this sense, we are launching this Special Issue to address some of the core research questions related to health communication strategies and evidence, such as:

  • Health literacy
  • Outrage Management
  • Crisis Communication
  • Health Advocacy
  • Health Education
  • Vaccine Hesitancy

Prof. Dr. Paolo Castiglia
Dr. Marco Dettori
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

22 pages, 1695 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Epidemics in Retirement and Nursing Homes in Italy: A New Preparedness Assessment Model after the First Epidemic Wave
by Carmelo Gugliotta, Davide Gentili, Silvia Marras, Marco Dettori, Pietro Paolo Muglia, Maria Giuseppina Desole, Marcello Acciaro, Sabina Bellu, Antonio Azara and Paolo Castiglia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5712; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115712 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2545
Abstract
The aim of the study is to evaluate the preparedness of retirement and nursing homes in the city of Sassari at the end of the first wave of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 epidemic, first by investigating the risk perception of [...] Read more.
The aim of the study is to evaluate the preparedness of retirement and nursing homes in the city of Sassari at the end of the first wave of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 epidemic, first by investigating the risk perception of epidemic outbreaks by the facility managers and subsequently by carrying out a field assessment of these facilities. To perform the field assessment, a checklist developed by the CDC (Infection Prevention and Control Assessment Tool for Nursing Homes Preparing for COVID-19) and adapted to the Italian context was used. Fourteen facilities took part in the survey (87.5%). The application of good practices for each survey area was expressed as a percentage with the following median values: restriction policies (87.5%), staff training (53.8%), resident training (67.6%), availability of personal protective equipment (41.7%), infection control practices (73.5%) and communication (80%). Among the facilities, considerable variability was observed in these evaluation fields: only the restriction policies and communication activities were applied uniformly. A discrepancy was found between perceived risk and real danger in the facilities, requiring targeted communication actions. At present, it is necessary to promote a new approach based on the prediction of critical events, thereby providing the means to effectively address them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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14 pages, 842 KiB  
Article
Health Communication in COVID-19 Era: Experiences from the Italian VaccinarSì Network Websites
by Antonella Arghittu, Marco Dettori, Emma Dempsey, Giovanna Deiana, Claudio Angelini, Angela Bechini, Caterina Bertoni, Sara Boccalini, Paolo Bonanni, Sandro Cinquetti, Fabrizio Chiesi, Maria Chironna, Claudio Costantino, Antonio Ferro, Daniel Fiacchini, Giancarlo Icardi, Andrea Poscia, Francesca Russo, Andrea Siddu, Antonietta Spadea, Laura Sticchi, Maria Triassi, Francesco Vitale and Paolo Castigliaadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115642 - 25 May 2021
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 4137
Abstract
In 2013, in a bid to combat Vaccine Hesitancy (VH) and provide information on vaccines by communicating with the general public and the health community (e.g., healthcare workers and public health operators), the Italian Society of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine (S.It.I.) published the [...] Read more.
In 2013, in a bid to combat Vaccine Hesitancy (VH) and provide information on vaccines by communicating with the general public and the health community (e.g., healthcare workers and public health operators), the Italian Society of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine (S.It.I.) published the national website “VaccinarSì”. The project was subsequently extended to ten Italian Regions. This led to the creation of the VaccinarSì Network, whose websites are publicly owned. The aim of this work was to present the framework of the websites of the VaccinarSì Network and to analyse user behaviour in the pre-COVID-19-era (dating from each website’s publication until 31 January 2020) and in the COVID-19-era (from 1 February 2020 to 31 January 2021). Some metrics such as the number of visits to the site (sessions, number of users and average session duration), user behaviour (pages viewed, bounce rate and organic search) and the session acquisition path (direct traffic, referrals and social traffic) were searched, extrapolated and processed with Google Analytics. Qualitative and normally distributed quantitative variables were summarised with their absolute (relative) frequencies and means. Statistical differences between the means of the two periods were evaluated through paired t-test. A two-tailed p-value less than 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. When the total values recorded over the period were compared, an overall increase in metrics was observed—the number of individual users, visits and individual pageviews rose in a statistically significant way. Our study aimed to highlight how combining disciplines such as health education and digital communication via Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) represents the best strategy to support citizens. This approach gives them the tools to become independent and responsible players that are capable of voluntarily and consciously choosing to adhere to vaccination programs. The VaccinarSì Network’s goal for the future is to reach an even wider audience. By building each user’s critical knowledge, this network enables users to be active components of a wider, more empowered community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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12 pages, 465 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Health Information Exposure and Source Credibility on COVID-19 Vaccination Intention in Germany
by Volker Gehrau, Sam Fujarski, Hannah Lorenz, Carla Schieb and Bernd Blöbaum
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4678; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094678 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 43 | Viewed by 6025
Abstract
Due to the novelty and high transmission rate of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), direct medical countermeasures are urgently needed. Among actions against the further outbreak of COVID-19, vaccination has been considered as a chief candidate. However, the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines [...] Read more.
Due to the novelty and high transmission rate of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), direct medical countermeasures are urgently needed. Among actions against the further outbreak of COVID-19, vaccination has been considered as a chief candidate. However, the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines has led to concern about their safety and thus to public vaccine hesitancy. Strategic heath communication channels, which are widely used and highly trusted, can contribute to more effective promotions of vaccination intention and to the reduction of misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, this study examines the relationship between the exposure to and credibility of different health information sources and the COVID-19 vaccination intention among 629 German adults. Descriptive statistical analysis and multiple linear regressions are employed to examine the research questions. Results reveal that, aside from reliable information from experts and health authorities, local newspapers also have a positive impact on COVID-19 vaccination intention. However, this effect diminishes to some extent when age is considered. In addition, alternative information sources pose a noticeable threat to COVID-19 vaccination intention. Therefore, a close cooperation between healthcare experts, health authorities, and mass media with regard to information dissemination is conducive for vaccination campaigns and for the fight against misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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11 pages, 817 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Increasing Levels of Provider-Patient Discussion on Quit Behavior: An Instrumental Variable Analysis of a National Survey
by Bian Liu, Serena Zhan, Karen M. Wilson, Madhu Mazumdar and Lihua Li
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4593; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094593 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1872
Abstract
Objective: We aimed to examine the influence of increasing levels of discussion (both asked and advised, either asked or advised but not both, and neither asked nor advised) on quit behavior. Methods: We included 4133 adult current smokers from the 2015 National Health [...] Read more.
Objective: We aimed to examine the influence of increasing levels of discussion (both asked and advised, either asked or advised but not both, and neither asked nor advised) on quit behavior. Methods: We included 4133 adult current smokers from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey. The primary outcomes were quit intent and quit attempt, and the secondary outcomes were methods used for quitting. We used an instrumental variable analysis, as well as propensity score weighted and multivariable logistic regressions. Results: Compared to no discussion, having both or only one discussion, respectively, increased quit intent (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.63–1.66 and OR = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.99–1.05), quit attempt (OR = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.75–1.77 and OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.57–1.63). Among those who attempted to quit (n = 1536), having both or only one discussion increased the use of pharmacologic (OR = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.97–2.02 and OR = 1.56, 95% CI = 1.49–1.63) or behavioral (OR = 2.01, 95% CI = 1.94–2.08 and OR = 2.91, 95% CI = 2.74–3.08) quit methods. Conclusions: Increasing levels of provider–patient discussion encourages quit behavior, and should be an integral part of reducing the health and economic burden of smoking. Strategies that promote the adherence and compliance of providers to communicate with patients may help increase the success of smoking cessation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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12 pages, 341 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Phobic Anxiety in Work and Leisure Activity Situations, and Optimistic Bias Associated with COVID-19 among South Koreans
by Young-Jae Kim and E-Sack Kim
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8436; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228436 - 14 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2452
Abstract
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the public is unable to maintain a proper balance between work and leisure, and an increase in community-based infections is causing severe phobic anxiety. Therefore, the present study investigated the differences in phobic anxiety between work and [...] Read more.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the public is unable to maintain a proper balance between work and leisure, and an increase in community-based infections is causing severe phobic anxiety. Therefore, the present study investigated the differences in phobic anxiety between work and leisure activities according to optimistic bias among 533 South Korean citizens. Frequency analysis, descriptive statistical analysis, t-tests, and a one-way analysis of variance were conducted to examine the data. The results showed that for leisure activities, women showed a higher perception of phobic anxiety. In addition, the group showing high optimistic bias had a higher perception of phobic anxiety in both work and leisure activity situations. Therefore, support measures to lower phobic anxiety among women are needed at the government level, while support and interest from family members are needed at home. Moreover, local governments must ensure active involvement to mitigate phobic anxiety among individuals, and measures are needed to more actively implement infectious disease prevention behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
23 pages, 1553 KiB  
Article
The Importance of Genuineness in Public Engagement—An Exploratory Study of Pediatric Communication on Social Media in China
by Wenze Lu, Cindy Sing Bik Ngai and Lu Yang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7078; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197078 - 27 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3196
Abstract
There is a growing need for the public to interact with pediatricians through social media in China, and genuineness is a crucial factor contributing to effective communication, but few studies have examined the relationship between genuineness and its effect on public engagement. This [...] Read more.
There is a growing need for the public to interact with pediatricians through social media in China, and genuineness is a crucial factor contributing to effective communication, but few studies have examined the relationship between genuineness and its effect on public engagement. This study developed a four-dimension framework including self-disclosure, genuine response, functional interactivity, and genuineness in Chinese culture to investigate the effect of genuineness in the communication of Chinese social media influencers in pediatrics on public engagement. Content analysis was employed to examine these dimensions and the related public engagement in 300 social media posts on the largest microblogging site in China. The findings indicate that genuine response was positively associated with the number of comments and positive comments, while negatively related to the number of shares. Functional interactivity made the site more appealing, resulting in likes and shares. Genuineness in Chinese culture was reflected in engagement through sharing posts by the public. This study is the first to develop an integrated framework to measure genuineness in online health communication and contributes to the understanding of the effect of genuineness on Chinese public engagement in social media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
19 pages, 939 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Social Marketing Success Criteria in Health Promotion: A F-DEMATEL Approach
by Chi-Horng Liao
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176317 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5410
Abstract
Health promotion campaigns are used to raise awareness about health issues with the purpose of improving health outcomes and community wellbeing. They are important for increasing community awareness of health behavior changes. In the application of health promotion, social marketing can be used [...] Read more.
Health promotion campaigns are used to raise awareness about health issues with the purpose of improving health outcomes and community wellbeing. They are important for increasing community awareness of health behavior changes. In the application of health promotion, social marketing can be used to influence changes in individual behavior. Social marketing encourages the social behavioral change of the target audience. This social behavioral change refers to the behavior of a certain number of target audiences, not just individual behavior. This research identified various social marketing success criteria to improve the performance of health promotion using decision-making method. Fuzzy decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (F-DEMATEL) is a structural causal relation method that has been verified effectual in congregating the viewpoints of professionals and thus providing information of greater reliability in various areas. F-DEMATEL method helps to identify the core problems and direction of improvement in complex systems by quantifying the degree to which criteria attributes interact with each other. This research applied F-DEMATEL to evaluate the complex interrelation success criteria of social marketing in order to effectively implement health promotion. Several effective criteria were derived from this research. These influential criteria are “Designing effective Communication message”, “Meeting the needs of beneficiaries”, “Providing more benefit than cost”, “Marketing mix elements”, “Customer orientation”, “Organizational advantage” and “Market selection”. The practitioner must consider the needs of the recipients to accomplish a successful social marketing campaign in health promotion. Moreover, the practitioner also has to design an attractive message and marketing mix strategy to communicate the benefits of the behavioral change to the target audience. Besides, the message delivered by the known organization increases the success of social marketing in promoting healthy lifestyle. This study provides important information for the non-profit organization about selecting the significant criteria to lead to the success of the campaign. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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19 pages, 1847 KiB  
Article
Environmental Risks Perception Among Citizens Living Near Industrial Plants: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Marco Dettori, Paola Pittaluga, Giulia Busonera, Carmelo Gugliotta, Antonio Azara, Andrea Piana, Antonella Arghittu and Paolo Castiglia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4870; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134870 - 6 Jul 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2848
Abstract
The present work is a cross-sectional study aimed at assessing the risk perception and evaluating the community outrage linked to environmental factors among a self-selected sample of citizens living in an area characterized by the presence of industrial structures of high emotional impact. [...] Read more.
The present work is a cross-sectional study aimed at assessing the risk perception and evaluating the community outrage linked to environmental factors among a self-selected sample of citizens living in an area characterized by the presence of industrial structures of high emotional impact. An anonymous questionnaire was administered to the population by publishing a Google form URL code in local and regional newspapers and via social media. The resulting data were entered on Excel and analyzed. Qualitative variables were summarized with absolute and relative (percentage) frequencies. The results showed that the event that causes the greatest worry was air pollution, with 92.6% of the respondents stating that they perceived the problem as “very” or “quite” worrying. Furthermore, all the health problems investigated in relation to environmental quality aroused concern among the interviewees, with 93.1% believing there was a cause-effect relationship between environmental quality and health. Overall, as other studies had previously underlined, the survey shows that the perceived risks are not always in line with the real ones, Thus, it is imperative to articulate interventions aimed at offering the population objective tools to enable them to interpret the risks themselves. In this regard, a fundamental role is played by adequate communication between the competent bodies and political decision-makers and the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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11 pages, 895 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Psychiatric Symptomatology in Bilingual Psychotic Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Leire Erkoreka, Naiara Ozamiz-Etxebarria, Onintze Ruiz and Javier Ballesteros
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114137 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2711
Abstract
Language plays an important role in psychiatric conditions. Language disturbances are core symptoms of psychiatric ailments, and language is the main diagnostic tool to assess psychopathological severity. Although the importance of language in psychiatry, the effect of bilingualism, and more specifically of using [...] Read more.
Language plays an important role in psychiatric conditions. Language disturbances are core symptoms of psychiatric ailments, and language is the main diagnostic tool to assess psychopathological severity. Although the importance of language in psychiatry, the effect of bilingualism, and more specifically of using the mother language or a later acquired language at the time of assessing psychotic symptoms, has been scarcely studied and, thus, remains unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to ascertain whether differences exist in the severity of psychopathology in psychotic patients when assessed either in the mother language or in an acquired language. Of 3121 retrieved references from three databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Embase) and complementary searches, four studies—including 283 psychotic patients—were included in the review. The meta-analytical combined effect suggested that more overall symptomatology is detected when clinical assessment is conducted in the mother language rather than in the acquired language (very low quality evidence, random effects model standardized mean difference (SMD) 0.44, 95% CI = 0.19 to 0.69, p value = 0.0006, I2 = 90%). Considering the growing migration flows and the increasing number of bilingual people in the world population, the effect of the chosen language at the time of conducting psychopathological assessments of psychotic patients is a clinically relevant issue. Based on our findings, we recommend that clinical interviews with bilingual psychotic patients should be conducted, when feasible, in the patient’s mother language. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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16 pages, 875 KiB  
Article
Flu Vaccination Attitudes, Behaviours, and Knowledge among Health Workers
by Antonella Arghittu, Marco Dettori, Antonio Azara, Davide Gentili, Antonello Serra, Bruno Contu and Paolo Castiglia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093185 - 3 May 2020
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 4407
Abstract
The aim of this work is to evaluate the attitudes, behaviours, and knowledge of health workers employed at an Italian University Hospital on the topic of vaccinations and in regard to flu vaccination. To this end, the study provided for the articulation of [...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to evaluate the attitudes, behaviours, and knowledge of health workers employed at an Italian University Hospital on the topic of vaccinations and in regard to flu vaccination. To this end, the study provided for the articulation of a computerised questionnaire on the digital platform EUSurvey which was administered online via e-mail to a sample of 457 health workers, in the period between November 2018 and March 2019. The data were subjected to descriptive and inferential statistical analysis. In particular, a logistic regression analysis was carried out in order to evaluate the relationship between the variables collected and the dichotomous outcome (vaccinated/unvaccinated subjects in the 2018–2019 season). The results, in line with what has been reported by the literature, highlighted that vaccine hesitancy is prevalent also among health workers. Furthermore, according to our study, only 30.6% of the health care workers had the flu vaccination. The survey points out the need to plan educational and informative interventions aimed at changing the attitudes, behaviours, and knowledge of health workers in the field of flu vaccination, for the purpose of protecting the health of healthcare personnel and their patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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10 pages, 791 KiB  
Article
The “Obiettivo Antibiotico” Campaign on Prudent Use of Antibiotics in Sicily, Italy: The Pilot Phase
by Martina Barchitta, Annalisa Quattrocchi, Andrea Maugeri, Maria Clara La Rosa, Claudia La Mastra, Guido Basile, Giovanni Giuffrida, Francesco Mazzeo Rinaldi, Giuseppe Murolo and Antonella Agodi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3077; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093077 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2844
Abstract
The issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a focus of the World Health Organization, which proposes educational interventions targeting the public and healthcare professionals. Here, we present the first attempt at a regionwide multicomponent campaign in Sicily (Italy), called “Obiettivo Antibiotico”, which aims [...] Read more.
The issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a focus of the World Health Organization, which proposes educational interventions targeting the public and healthcare professionals. Here, we present the first attempt at a regionwide multicomponent campaign in Sicily (Italy), called “Obiettivo Antibiotico”, which aims to raise the awareness of prudent use of antibiotics in the public and in healthcare professionals. The campaign was designed by an interdisciplinary academic team, and an interactive website was populated with different materials, including key messages, letters, slogans, posters, factsheets, leaflets, and videos. The campaign was launched in November 2018 and, as of 21 December 2018, the website had a total of 1159 unique visitors, of which 190 became champions by pledging to take simple actions to support the fight against AMR. Data from social media showed that the audience was between 18 and 54 years of age, with a high proportion of female participants (64%). Interestingly, the LinkedIn page received more than 1200 followers, and Facebook 685 followers. The number of actions taken (pledges) by the audience was 458, evenly divided between experts (53%) and the general public (47%). Additional efforts are needed to reach more people, thus future efforts should focus on further promotion within the Sicilian region to sustain the engagement with the campaign. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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8 pages, 326 KiB  
Article
Communicative and Social Skills among Medical Students in Spain: A Descriptive Analysis
by Sonia Ruiz de Azua, Naiara Ozamiz-Etxebarria, Miren Agurtzane Ortiz-Jauregui and Ana Gonzalez-Pinto
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041408 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4421
Abstract
Effective risk communication in public health requires the development of social skills such as active listening and empathy. Communicative and social skills were evaluated in third-year medical students (n = 917) using the Active Listening Test and the Test of Cognitive and [...] Read more.
Effective risk communication in public health requires the development of social skills such as active listening and empathy. Communicative and social skills were evaluated in third-year medical students (n = 917) using the Active Listening Test and the Test of Cognitive and Affective Empathy. The results obtained revealed that our participants had equal or better-than-norm communication skills. Women scored higher in active listening whereas men scored higher on the General Empathy Scale. The students who preferred a clinical specialty obtained higher scores in active listening and empathetic abilities, as compared to students who chose a surgical specialty. In conclusion, the medical students who participated in the study exhibited good communicative and social skills. An association was observed between gender and specialty preference, and empathy and active listening skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
15 pages, 1554 KiB  
Article
Impact of Communication Measures Implemented During a School Tuberculosis Outbreak on Risk Perception among Parents and School Staff, Italy, 2019
by Davide Gentili, Andrea Bardin, Elisa Ros, Cinzia Piovesan, Mauro Ramigni, Maria Dalmanzio, Marco Dettori, Antonietta Filia and Sandro Cinquetti
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030911 - 1 Feb 2020
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 6353
Abstract
Risk perception has a significant impact on decisions people make when facing a threat: a mismatch between actual hazard and perceived risk can lead to inappropriate behaviours and suboptimal compliance to recommended public health measures. The present study was conducted in the aftermath [...] Read more.
Risk perception has a significant impact on decisions people make when facing a threat: a mismatch between actual hazard and perceived risk can lead to inappropriate behaviours and suboptimal compliance to recommended public health measures. The present study was conducted in the aftermath of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak that occurred in 2019 in a primary school in Italy. The aim was to evaluate the impact of communication measures implemented by local health authorities (including face-to-face meetings between LHAs and the local population, weekly press announcements, implementation of a telephone hotline and of an information desk, and social media communication), on risk perception among parents of schoolchildren and school staff, and to identify factors related to a change in risk perception before and after the said activities. An anonymous questionnaire was administered to parents of schoolchildren (n = 846) and to school staff (n = 70). Participants were asked about the level of risk they had perceived at two distinct times: when they first became aware of the outbreak and following implementation of communication activities. A significant reduction of perceived risk was found in both groups (p < 0.001) following the communication activities. The largest reduction was found among participants who reported having appreciated the meetings with the LHA healthcare staff. Our findings suggest that keeping an open approach, explaining the actual threat to the population and adapting communication to different listening skills, are essential for health authorities to successfully manage a public health emergency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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8 pages, 310 KiB  
Article
Use of Information Sources on Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Pregnant Women: An Experience in Ferrara, Italy
by Giovanni Gabutti, Umberto Carioli, Diego Gamberoni, Giulia Masetti, Giulio Matteo, Paola Perrone, Rosaria Cappadona, Pantaleo Greco, Roberta Siliquini and Armando Stefanati
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010233 - 28 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2348
Abstract
The “vaccine hesitancy” and the consequent lowering of vaccination coverage have, on one hand, pushed the Italian government to reintroduce some new compulsory vaccinations for access to schools and, on the other, have imposed a greater effort on health operators to understand the [...] Read more.
The “vaccine hesitancy” and the consequent lowering of vaccination coverage have, on one hand, pushed the Italian government to reintroduce some new compulsory vaccinations for access to schools and, on the other, have imposed a greater effort on health operators to understand the causes and, consequently, to intervene with tools for promotion and health education. In Ferrara, we administered 201 non-self-filling questionnaires to 201 pregnant women within a cross-sectional multicenter study, consisting of 63 items divided into 7 sections. In particular, we wanted to investigate the correlation between the socio-demographic characteristics of the interviewees and the sources used to obtain information and, on the other side, the intention to vaccinate in relation to the perception of the diffusion and of the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. The institutional information sources are less used by foreigners, primiparous, and women with a low education level. The perception of the severity of vaccine-preventable diseases was greater in those inquiring from institutional sources. In a public health perspective, knowing the profile of future mothers in terms of socio-demographic characteristics and of the quality of the used information channels may help to guide the choices of communication in the vaccination field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Evidence in Health Communication)
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