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Factors Associated with Cancer Message Believability: a Mixed Methods Study on Simulated Facebook Posts

Factors Associated with Cancer Message Believability: a Mixed Methods Study on Simulated Facebook... The ability to share and obtain health information on social media (SM) places higher burden on individuals to evaluate the believability of such health messages given the growing nature of misinformation circulating on SM. Message features (i.e., format, veracity), message source, and an individual’s health literacy all play significant roles in how a person evaluates health messages on SM. This study assesses how message features and SM users’ health literacy predict assessment of message believability and time spent looking at simulated Facebook messages. SM users (N = 53) participated in a mixed methods experimental study, using eye-tracking technology, to measure relative time and message believability. Measures included individual health literacy, message format (narrative/non-narrative), and information veracity (evidence-based/non-evidence-based). Results showed individuals with adequate health literacy rated evidence-based posts as more believable than non-evidence-based posts. Additionally, individuals with limited health literacy spent more relative time on the source compared to individuals with adequate health literacy. Public health and health communication efforts should focus on addressing myths and misinformation found on SM. Additionally, the source of message may be equally important when evaluating messages on SM, and strategies should identify reliable sources to prevent limited health literate individuals from falling prey to misinformation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Cancer Education Springer Journals

Factors Associated with Cancer Message Believability: a Mixed Methods Study on Simulated Facebook Posts

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © American Association for Cancer Education 2021
ISSN
0885-8195
eISSN
1543-0154
DOI
10.1007/s13187-021-02054-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The ability to share and obtain health information on social media (SM) places higher burden on individuals to evaluate the believability of such health messages given the growing nature of misinformation circulating on SM. Message features (i.e., format, veracity), message source, and an individual’s health literacy all play significant roles in how a person evaluates health messages on SM. This study assesses how message features and SM users’ health literacy predict assessment of message believability and time spent looking at simulated Facebook messages. SM users (N = 53) participated in a mixed methods experimental study, using eye-tracking technology, to measure relative time and message believability. Measures included individual health literacy, message format (narrative/non-narrative), and information veracity (evidence-based/non-evidence-based). Results showed individuals with adequate health literacy rated evidence-based posts as more believable than non-evidence-based posts. Additionally, individuals with limited health literacy spent more relative time on the source compared to individuals with adequate health literacy. Public health and health communication efforts should focus on addressing myths and misinformation found on SM. Additionally, the source of message may be equally important when evaluating messages on SM, and strategies should identify reliable sources to prevent limited health literate individuals from falling prey to misinformation.

Journal

Journal of Cancer EducationSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 1, 2022

Keywords: Social media; Eye-tracking; Health literacy

References