The study, which appeared this month in the journal Health Psychology, found that by offering an experimental introduction to a counseling session, public health institutions could increase enrollment by a significant amount.
Previous research by Albarracín found that those most likely to engage in behavior that puts them at a high risk for HIV are also the least likely to enroll and stay in HIV intervention programs.
Therefore the researchers studied the effects of delivering different messages to participants screened for high-risk behavior as an invitation to a counseling program delivered at the Alachua County Health Department in Gainesville, Fla. They found one message that increased enrollment among participants.
All the messages informed participants who had signed up for a generic health study that they could speak to a HIV-prevention counselor. In the experimental condition, they were also told that the counseling session was not intended to change their behavior, only to provide them with the most current information. Compared with a message that indicated that the counseling increased condom use, recipients of the experimental message enrolled at a rate higher by 15 percent. This effect was particularly strong when participants had no intention of using condoms at the beginning of the study.
“This kind of research has tremendous public health implications,” Albarracín said.
“Public health experts around the world are regularly in search of the most effective methods for curbing preventable health problems,” she said. “HIV is a disease caused by a number of risky behaviors like unsafe sex and unsafe needle sharing, but health information is often disseminated without complete knowledge of how it will be received by audiences,” she said.
“The research indicates that people will be more receptive to information when they don't believe they are trying to be influenced,” Albarracín said. “This approach will be helpful in giving public health professionals effective ways to introduce the public to information without repulsing those they are trying to help most.”
Other researchers involved in the study were Marta R. Durantini, Allison Earl, and Josh Leeper, of the University of Florida, and Joann B. Gunnoe of the Alachua County Health Department.
Editor’s note: To reach Dolores Albarracin, call 217-244-7019; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matthew Freeman | University of Illinois
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy