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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

UAlbany: Injury Prevention Recommendations in Media Need Improvement to Encourage Behavioral Change

A research team including University at Albany School of Public Health’s Dr. Jennifer Manganello recently studied pediatric injury prevention recommendations in the news and how mothers respond to these recommendations.

The team, led by Dr. Lara McKenzie at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, gave surveys to a nationally representative sample of 1,081 mothers. Surveys measured knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intention after viewing video and print materials on two child safety topics.

33 percent of participants reported that they had heard little about injury prevention in the media (i.e. TV, radio, newspapers) during the past 30 days, while 32 percent responded that they had never heard about injury prevention. Of those who did recall injury prevention in the media, 46 percent reported that they found the information to be confusing to them at least some of the time. When looking at the provided news items, more of the mothers correctly recalled information from the story narrative than the statistics presented. The most interesting part of the story was also rated differently based on the safety topic and medium.

These results, published in the Journal of Health Communication, show that changes to media stories on child safety topics could make them more memorable and understandable. Further research is needed to determine what media messages will be most effective at helping mothers better implement behavioral changes to increase child safety.

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