142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Communicating Risk and Promoting Disease Mitigation Measures in Epidemics and Emerging Disease Settings

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Renata Schiavo, PhD, MA , Founding President and CEO, Health Equity Initiative; AND, Senior Lecturer, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
May May Leung, PhD, RD , School of Public Health, City University of New York, Hunter College, New York, NY
Mason Brown, MLS , City University of New York School of Public Health
Objective: This review identifies and assesses evidence on interventions to communicate risk and promote disease mitigation measures in epidemics and emerging disease outbreaks. The study focuses on data that are relevant to low and middle income country settings. 

Methods: A literature search used 5 major electronic databases and other sources to identify studies published January 2002-July 2013.  The review focused on interventions in community, healthcare and multisectoral settings. Quantitative studies were selected according to specific study criteria and assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP) framework. Conversely, qualitative studies, reviews and editorials were not included. 

Results:  Twenty-nine relevant studies from 16 countries were included.  Most focused on a single intervention or intervention level, rather than multisectoral interventions.  Most evidence relates to programs aimed at behavioral and social results.  Two studies include implications for health service delivery, two examine the intervention’s impact on health systems-related outcomes, and three also have implications for environmental health. Cost- and health equity-related implications are also discussed.

Conclusions:  The paucity of well-designed quantitative evaluations of interventions to communicate health risk and promote disease control measures in LMICs does not allow for any definitive conclusions.  Still, the review identifies several promising interventions or areas for future investigation, including community-based interventions and multi-component and multisectoral approaches to intervention design. Research gaps include impact evaluation on health policy adoption or implementation, and social determinants of health, as well as cost-effectiveness research. Overall, this review identifies several research gaps and questions, and discusses potential directions for more rigorous assessments.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss issues and patterns in health risk communication and health promotion interventions in epidemics and emerging disease settings Describe sample outcomes, research gaps, and key questions for further exploration both in research and practice settings as it relates to communicating risk and promoting disease mitigation measures in epidemics and disease outbreaks Discuss recommendations and potential future directions for capacity building for more rigorous assessment

Keyword(s): Communication, Health Promotion and Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Health communication, public health, and global health specialist with more than 20+ years of experience in the United States, and several countries in Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Author of a leading book and several publications in relevant fields. Significant experience on health risk communication in epidemics and outbreak settings
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.