Effect of prosocial public health messages for population behaviour change in relation to respiratory infections
Research Team: Aikaterini Grimani, Chris Bonell, Susan Michie, Vivi Antonopoulou, Michael P Kelly, Ivo Vlaev
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a great societal challenge that requires large-scale behaviour change, widespread collective action and cooperation. Existing literature indicates that several messaging approaches may be effective, including emphasizing the benefits to the recipient, aligning with the recipient’s moral values, and focusing on protecting others. Current research indicates that prosocial public health messages that highlight behaviours linked to societal benefits (e.g., protect “each other”), rather than focusing on behaviours that protect oneself (e.g., protect “yourself”), may be a more effective method for communicating strategies related to infectious diseases. The aim of this research is to conduct a systematic review of effective communication strategies for population behaviour change in relation to infectious diseases and to synthesize the evidence on supporting or/ and refine the ‘protect each other’ principle.
The aim of this research is to conduct a systematic review of effective communication strategies for population behaviour change in relation to infectious diseases and to synthesise the evidence on supporting or/and refining the ‘protect each other’ principle.
- Are messages focusing on protecting others effective in changing a defined list of behavioural outcomes compared to other messages/ controls?
- What behaviours (e.g., social distancing, hand washing, face touching, using hygiene products etc.) do messages about protecting others appear to affect positively?
- What populations do messages about protecting others appear to affect positively?
The protocol is published in BMJ Open and can be viewed here.