Crises disrupt our expectations for the future, thereby affecting our emotions, planning behaviours and identities.
When a crisis like COVID-19 disrupts expectations for the future, it also disrupts how health messaging works. Advertising research shows three ways that health campaigns can succeed in a crisis.
Public service announcements, news articles and social media posts are all part of the coronavirus messaging landscape.
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During the pandemic, clear and reliable health communication can literally be a life-and-death issue. Researchers who focus on the science of science communication highlight strategies that work.
New guidelines for health-care providers advise supporting every individual to achieve their best health, rather than focusing on weight status.
New Canadian clinical practice guidelines for obesity aim to help reduce the prevalence and impact of weight bias and stigma in clinical care, and also encourage the public to advocate for change.
We miss too much when we treat all seniors as helpless.
COVID-19 public health messages often classify ‘elderly neighbours’ as in need of aid, and overlook the substantial contributions, achievements and resources of older people.
Not all government coronavirus health advice is reaching people who speak a language other than English. That’s about one in five households.
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Improving health literacy and access to services could empower ethnic minorities to boost their immune systems.
Isaac Kasamani/AFP/Getty Images
Uganda’s COVID-19 task force would do well to embrace pop music in its public health communications.
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Framing the fight against coronavirus as a spiritual war may stem from a shared sense of discomfort about an adversary without discernible conscience; an impersonal demon.
You might feel terrible. But your runny nose, sore throat and aches are signs your body is fighting the flu virus. And that’s a good thing.
How can a tiny flu virus make you feel so bad, all over? Here’s what’s behind your high temperature, muscle aches and other flu symptoms.
A vaccine (toxoid) against diphtheria first became available in Toronto in 1926. Thanks to the work of the Toronto Diphtheria Committee, the city was diphtheria-free by 1940.
Toronto’s fight against diptheria teaches us the powerful impact of public health campaigns – in persuading parents to vaccinate their children.
A patient suffering from dengue fever lies in a hospital bed in Peshawar, Pakistan, in October. Cases of dengue fever – a painful mosquito-borne spread disease – have doubled every decade since 1990. Environmental health experts are pointing the finger at climate change.
(AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
What if we treated climate change as a health problem rather than an environmental one? There are lessons to be learned from the successful public health campaigns against smoking.
Striking Kenyan nurses take part in a protest in Nairobi.
A strike by Kenyan nurses points to the country’s failure to manage the devolution of responsibility for health care from national to county governments.
Giving up alcohol for a month might help you feel better in the short term, but no-one knows if taking part in these campaigns promotes long-term healthy drinking habits.
Many of us might be tempted to give up alcohol for a month as part of a highly publicised campaign, like Dry July. But how successful are these campaigns and how do you measure any long-term benefits?
Out and about.
Poverty, insecurity and social isolation have a major impact on public health.
Benjamin Franklin observed many things about health, including the adverse effect of lead type.
Benjamin Franklin was the most famous man of his era not only because of his role in founding our country. He had a keen interest in health, with many ideas that hold up today.
One down, 599 to go.
Monthly bouts of abstinence have become regular features of public health and charity campaigns, but there may be even more important milestones for giving up.
For awareness campaigns to succeed, people need to relate to the message.
Many public awareness campaigns fail to change attitudes and behaviours because they start from the flawed premise that just telling someone something is bad will make them stop doing it.
From one hand-held habit to another.
Services like Facebook and YouTube may have the upper hand when it comes to getting people to give up cigarettes.
Screening may save lives but it comes with a cost - and sometimes unbearable decisions - that shouldn’t be underestimated.
The ancient Greeks had a term for self-destructive behaviour. It was called akrasia – the tendency to indulge in behaviour which goes against our better judgement or received wisdom – and there is plenty…