Immunize the vaccine rumors: Effects of inoculation messages and tone of voice on HPV vaccine compliance
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The primary purpose of this study was to develop an effective health communication strategy to guide the decision-making process of parents regarding the HPV vaccine. People are currently surrounded by conflicting information (e.g., hearsay, misinformation, and conspiracy theories) through media, particularly online media. This misinformation can interrupt the decision-making process, making it no longer sufficient for health care practitioners to just issue facts and recommendations. Now, they also need to develop compliance. To do this, based on inoculation theory, this study posited that inoculation messages, as opposed to supportive messages, will work to enhance resistance to future attack messages about HPV vaccine issues. The resistance is assumed to increase positive outcomes of health communication, such as positive attitude and higher intention to vaccinate, and higher intention to share the content with other people. This study also attempts to explore how the tone of voice (human voice vs. organizational voice) interplays with the inoculation message in health communication online. The current study used a 2 (message content: inoculation vs. supportive) � 2 (tone of voice: human voice vs. organizational voice) mixed experimental design. The message content served as a between-subjects factor while the tone of voice served as a within-subjects factor. A total of 231 parents who have teenage children were recruited through Amazon Turk to participate in the study. According to the results, people who were exposed to inoculation messages were more likely to have a positive attitude toward HPV vaccination, a higher intention to vaccinate their children, and a higher intention to share the content with others. Unlike the main effects of the inoculation messages, the hypotheses about the tone of voice were not supported except intention to word of mouth. Overall, this study shed a light on vaccine communication, showing that providing people with warnings about possible counter-arguments they may encounter as well as refutations (i.e., inoculation message) can enhance resistance to misinformation about vaccines.
Access is limited to the campus of the University of Missouri--Columbia.