A pre- and post-intervention study testing the effect of exposure to languageless animated images communicating COVID-19 preventive behaviours on behavioural intentions and beliefs of Guatemalan adults

O'Brien, Nicola, Vijaykumar, Santosh, Craig, Michael, Land, Ellie, Aguilar Jocol, Sigrid Marisol, Bedoya Mendoza, Xiomara Guadalupe, dela Cruz Estrada, Rony, Najera Gonzalez, Edwin Adolfo and Nicolau Ozaeta, Luisa Fernanda (2022) A pre- and post-intervention study testing the effect of exposure to languageless animated images communicating COVID-19 preventive behaviours on behavioural intentions and beliefs of Guatemalan adults. Journal of Global Health. ISSN 2047-2978 (In Press)

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Abstract

Background: Effective health communication to encourage participation in COVID-19 preventive behaviours is crucial to help mitigate viral spread. Intentions and beliefs are known determinants of adherence to these behaviours, therefore, health communication interventions based on these constructs may be effective. Also, visual languageless messages can be particularly useful in multilingual countries where text-based communications can limit message exposure. This pre- and post-intervention study sought to identify the effect of exposure to languageless animated messages, presented in the Graphic Interchange Format (GIF), communicating COVID-19 preventive behaviours (physical distancing, handwashing and mask-wearing) on behavioural intentions and beliefs.
Methods: Between February and March 2021, a nationally representative sample of 308 Guatemalan adults completed this online survey experiment. Self-reported performance of preventive behaviours, understanding of COVID-19 transmission risk, and intentions, self-efficacy and outcome expectancy beliefs about preventive behaviours were assessed at baseline. Participants were then exposed to a random combination of three of four possible GIFs in a random presentation order. Following exposure to each GIF, intentions, self-efficacy and outcome expectancy beliefs were reassessed.
Results: In terms of main effects, GIF exposure was significantly associated with improved intentions, self-efficacy and outcome expectancy beliefs in relation to physical distancing; intentions and outcome expectancy beliefs in relation to handwashing; and intentions and self-efficacy in relation to mask-wearing. These associations were not dependent on the combination of the three of four possible GIFs presented. Pairwise comparisons revealed that observed improvements in scores were most pronounced from baseline to the first GIF exposure and reduced thereafter.
Conclusions: Exposure to languageless GIFs communicating COVID-19 preventive behaviours is associated with improvements in key social cognitive determinants of those behaviours. Dosage of GIF exposure and durability of effects are issues that warrant further attention so we can better understand the conditions and point at which benefits are maximised. Moreover, the effect on behavioural adherence is yet to be determined. GIFs provide a valuable means to widely disseminate health messages via social media during public health crises, such as COVID-19. When these messages are languageless, the potential reach of dissemination can be maximised.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This study was supported by funding from Northumbria University QR Global Challenges Research Fund strategy. The funders had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation or writing of the report.
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2022 15:40
Last Modified: 12 May 2022 09:18
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48699

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