Theme 4.1 Evaluating and improving digital health communication

Despite the abundance of digital health information and its potential to improve healthcare, most health information is difficult to understand and hard to apply by consumers. Particularly people with low health literacy or older adults are vulnerable, and find it difficult to apply health information to their daily lives. This theme focuses on the effectiveness of digital health information in specific target groups and how this can be improved. Studies can for example try to identify successful message components that make health information more effective, investigate how consumers could be supported in judging the reliability of online health information, or explore the factors that make e-health attractive and effective for a specific (hard to reach) target population.

Further readings:

  • Bol, N., Van Weert, J. C. M., De Haes, J. C. J. M., Loos, E. F., & Smets, E. M. A. (2015). The effect of modality and narration style on recall of online health information: Results from a web-based experiment. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(4).
  • Mackert, M., Champlin, S. E., Holton, A., Muñoz, I. I., & Damásio, M. J. (2014). eHealth and health literacy: A research methodology review. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19, 516-528.
  • Meppelink, C. S., Smit, E. G., Buurman, B. M., & Van Weert, J. C. M. (2015). Should we be afraid of simple messages? The effects of text difficulty and illustrations in people with low or high health literacy. Health Communication, 30, 1181-1189.