COVCOM aims to develop effective, evidence-based video communication for translating complex but important health messages about infectious diseases and pandemics.
An infectious disease is a special type of health challenge with its potential for rapid incidence growth. When dealing with such exponential growth regarding potential spread, if an imposed societal measure does not feel drastic, it may already be too late. This has strong implications for public health communication. Bringing about attitude change and acceptance for strict regulations requires explaining health science topics so that also nonexperts can quickly understand. How to go about to succeed at this is largely unknown. As media habits have changed, video has become a preferred medium constituting almost 80% of all internet traffic. Yet little is known about how to most effectively use video for relaying complex health messages.
The aim of this study is to develop effective, evidence-based video communication for translating complex but important health messages about infectious diseases and pandemics, using COVID-19 as a case to learn and prepare society for handling also future pandemics. Creating effective science communication requires interdisciplinary collaboration, and the project will bring together health professionals and scholars, media
creatives, psychologists, statisticians and professional communicators. The study population will include representatives from both the general public and decision makers as part of a holistic approach to how health related risk is understood and communicated on all levels. The general population is a heterogenous group and a one-size-fits-all solution is not to be expected.
The project is affiliated with the research center SHARE – Centre for Resilience in Healthcare at the University of Stavanger. Partners include Stavanger University Hospital, the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University of Leeds and Universiteit Leiden.
The results of the research project are expected to be published in 2022.