Background: Processing Web-based health information can be difficult, especially for people with low health literacy. Presenting health information in an audiovisual format, such as animation, is expected to improve understanding among low health literate audiences.
Objective: The aim of this paper is to investigate what features of spoken health animations improve information recall and attitudes and whether there are differences between health literacy groups.
Methods: We conducted an online experiment among 231 participants aged 55 years or older with either low or high health literacy. A 2 (spoken vs written text) x 2 (illustration vs animation) design was used. Participants were randomly exposed to one of the four experimental messages, all providing the same information on colorectal cancer screening.
Results: The results showed that, among people with low health literacy, spoken messages about colorectal cancer screening improved recall (P=.03) and attitudes (P=.02) compared to written messages. Animations alone did not improve recall, but when combined with spoken text, they significantly improved recall in this group (P=.02). When exposed to spoken animations, people with low health literacy recalled the same amount of information as their high health literate counterparts (P=.12), whereas in all other conditions people with high health literacy recalled more information compared to low health literate individuals. For people with low health literacy, positive attitudes mediated the relationship between spoken text and the intention to have a colorectal cancer screening (b=.12; 95% CI 0.02-0.25).
Conclusions: We conclude that spoken animation is the best way to communicate complex health information to people with low health literacy. This format can even bridge the information processing gap between audiences with low and high health literacy as the recall differences between the two groups are eliminated. As animations do not negatively influence high health literate audiences, it is concluded that information adapted to audiences with low health literacy suits people with high health literacy as well.
The program Persuasive Communication addresses those communication processes that are intended to achieve specific persuasive goals, as is the case in, for instance, marketing communication, health education, and public information campaigns. The research is aimed at understanding the dynamics that shape uses and effects of mediated persuasive communication. Read more >>
Tag cloudMarketing communication Intercultural communication Entertainment Education Branding Social media Interpersonal communication WOM Advertising Context effects Online advertising Sustainability Product placement Disclosures Food advertising In game advertising Environmental cues Publicity Tailoring Health communication Customer Media Cross-media CommunicAging Media multitasking eWOM Implicit measures Health literacy E-health