Interpersonal Communication as an Indirect Pathway for the Effect of Antismoking Media Content on Smoking Cessation

Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 02/2011; 16(5):470-85. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2010.546487
Source: PubMed


In the context of health campaigns, interpersonal communication can serve at least 2 functions: (a) to stimulate change through social interaction and (b) in a secondary diffusion process, to further disseminate message content. In a 3-wave prospective study of 1,079 smokers, the authors demonstrate that mass media messages (antismoking campaigns and news coverage relevant to smoking cessation) have an indirect effect on smoking cessation intention and behavior via interpersonal communication. Exposure to campaigns and news coverage prompts discussion about the campaigns, and, in turn, about smoking cessation. Interpersonal communication regarding smoking cessation then influences intention to quit smoking and attempts to quit smoking. The study finds evidence not only for the social interaction function of interpersonal communication, but also for the secondary diffusion function. A substantial number of smokers who are not directly exposed to the antismoking campaigns are nevertheless indirectly exposed via communication with people who have seen these campaigns. These results imply that encouragement of interpersonal communication can be an important campaign objective.

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    • "Despite the suggestion that social support influences intention to quit and maintenance of smokefree status [28] it has been underused in cessation interventions [29]. However, social support has been used and been found to have a positive influence on cessation when combined with Quit and Win competitions [30,31]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background One potential promising strategy for increasing smoking cessation for Māori (Indigenous New Zealanders) and New Zealand resident Pacific Island people is Quit and Win competitions. The current uncontrolled pre and post study, WERO (WERO in Māori language means challenge), differs from previous studies in that it aims to investigate if a stop smoking contest, using both within team support, external support from a team coach and cessation experts, and technology, would be effective in prompting and sustaining quitting. Method Fifteen teams, recruited from urban Māori, rural Māori and urban Pacific communities, competed to win a NZ$5000 (about €3,000, £2600) prize for a charity or community group of their choice. People were eligible if they were aged 18 years and over and identified as smokers. Smoking status was biochemically validated at the start and end of the 3 month competition. At 3-months post competition self-reported smoking status was collected. Results Fourteen teams with 10 contestants and one team with eight contestants were recruited. At the end of the competition the biochemically verified quit rate was 36%. The 6 months self-reported quit rate was 26%. The Pacific and rural Māori teams had high end of competition and 6 months follow-up quit rates (46% and 44%, and 36% and 29%). Conclusion WERO appeared to be successful in prompting quitting among high smoking prevalence groups. WERO combined several promising strategies for supporting cessation: peer support, cessation provider support, incentives, competition and interactive internet and mobile tools. Though designed for Māori and Pacific people, WERO could potentially be effective for other family- and community-centred cultures.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · BMC Public Health
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    • " that health message exposure and conversational occurrence ( bor - derline ) significantly interacted in influencing the intention to refrain from binge drinking is in agreement with previous studies that stress the relevance of the inter - play between both factors for health variables ( e . g . , Geary et al . , 2007 ; Southwell & Yzer , 2007 ; Van den Putte et al . , 2011 ) . However , our subsequent analyses revealed , in contrast with previous studies ( e . g . , Dunlop et al . , 2010 ; Hardy & Scheufele , 2005 ; Southwell , 2005 ) , no evidence of a moderating role of conversational occurrence within health campaigns effects . The effects of health message exposure did not differ across the two conver"
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    ABSTRACT: The present study experimentally investigated the interplay between interpersonal communication and health message exposure in relation to alcohol consumption intentions. Participants were 174 students who took part in a study on the effects of an antialcohol message. At baseline, the authors assessed intention to refrain from binge drinking. At the second wave (2 weeks later), participants were assigned to the conditions of a 2 (antialcohol message or no-alcohol message) × 2 (alcohol conversation or control conversation) between-subjects design, after which intention was again assessed. Results showed that when participants talked about alcohol (instead of the control topic) and were not exposed to an antialcohol message, they were less inclined to refrain from binge drinking, an effect that was not visible when participants talked about alcohol after viewing an antialcohol message. These findings suggest that health campaign exposure moderates the influence of interpersonal communication on health variables.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Journal of Health Communication
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    • "Thereby our three hypotheses were confirmed. These findings indicate that, apart from the mediating role of whether people talk (e.g., Geary et al., 2007; Van den Putte et al., 2011), the valence in which people discuss health issues also functions as an intervening variable between health campaign exposure and relevant persuasion outcomes. Thus, health messages have the ability not only to trigger conversations, but also to influence conversational valence and subsequently behavioural intentions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. Although research has shown that whether people talk about health issues influences health campaign effects, no evidence exists on whether conversational valence fulfils a mediating role within health campaign effects. In the context of alcohol consumption, this two-wave experimental research studies the effects of exposure to an anti-alcohol message on conversational valence about alcohol. Further, it investigates whether valence subsequently affects alcohol consumption intentions. Design. Eighty-four undergraduate students, in dyads, were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (anti-alcohol message vs. no alcohol message exposure). Methods. A baseline measure of the intention to refrain from binge drinking was assessed in advance. Two weeks later, half of the participants were exposed to an anti-alcohol message, after which all pairs engaged in a conversation about alcohol and binge drinking followed by an assessment of conversational valence and again the intention to refrain from binge drinking. Results. An indirect effect of health message exposure on the intention to refrain from binge drinking through conversational valence was revealed. When participants viewed an anti-alcohol message, they reported significantly more negative conversations about alcohol. Subsequently, a more negative conversational valence about alcohol increased the intention to refrain from binge drinking. Conclusions. These findings suggest that conversational valence is relevant for health campaign effects. By demonstrating that health messages can influence this valence, important implications arise in terms of health promotion. Future research should focus on how to design effective health campaigns that are able to guide conversational valence in the desired direction.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · British Journal of Health Psychology
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