Online Program

Disseminating child injury news: What do parents understand for pediatric injury research in the news media?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Lara B. McKenzie, PhD, MA, Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Jennifer A. Manganello, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Policy, Management, & Behavior, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Kristin Roberts, MS, MPH, The Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Insitute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Katherine Clegg Smith, PhD, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Objective: To evaluate parental understanding of news messages about pediatric injury research findings in mothers of child under the age of 6.

Methods: Six focus groups were conducted in Columbus, Ohio in March of 2014, each containing 7 -9 mothers who had at least one child under age 6. The composition of groups differed based on annual household income (<30,000, 30,000-50,000, >50,000). Participants completed written exercises and discussed their reactions to three video clips of actual news coverage describing pediatric injury research (car seats, household poisoning, high chairs).

Results: Participants (n=49) reported having an average of 2 children with the mean child age of 4.9 years. The majority of participants were White (59%), 30-39 years of age (55%), married (53%), employed fulltime (69%), and had completed some college (81%).  Participants were likely to recall visual information (such as a crash test demonstration), as well as stories that contained ‘surprising’ information, and those describing a child injury perceived to be severe. Few participants remembered the number of injuries presented in the clips. Even after viewing the stories, only a minority of mothers reported being interested in learning more about injury prevention recommendations.

Conclusion: Participants were less likely to remember statistics and more likely to recall the information related to a child injury story or learn about recommendations to prevent injuries. . Successful clips provide an injury story that matches the research findings, uses graphics, visuals or animations and provides recommendations and actionable steps to motivate behavior change.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe parental understanding of news messages about pediatric injury research findings collected from focus groups containing mothers of child under the age of 6.

Keyword(s): Public Health Research, Pediatrics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of injury prevention. My research focuses on how to increase adoption of parent safety behaviors such as the use of carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms, child safety seats and booster seats to prevent and/or reduce the consequences of childhood injuries.
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.