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654 How do mothers engage with news coverage of paediatric injury research? An exploratory, mixed-methods study
  1. Katherine C Smith1,2,
  2. Jennifer A Manganello3,
  3. Kristin Roberts4,
  4. Roxanne Kaercher4,
  5. Lara McKenzie4,5,6
  1. 1Department of Health, Behaviour and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
  2. 2Centre for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
  3. 3Department of Health Policy and Management, University at Albany School of Public Health, State University New York, Rensselaer, NY
  4. 4Centre for Injury Research and Policy, Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH
  5. 5Department of Paediatrics, the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH
  6. 6Division of Epidemiology, the Ohio State University College of Public Health, Columbus, OH

Abstract

Objective To examine understanding of and engagement with news messages about paediatric injury research findings in mothers of young children.

Methods We conducted six focus groups with 49 mothers of young children (<6 years of age) in which participants were shown three videos of televised news stories discussing paediatric injury research (car seats, household poisoning, high chairs). After viewing each story, mothers individually completed recall exercises and questions about engagement with story elements and then discussed reactions to injury content.

Results Almost all mothers who participated (94–98%) recalled key information about the injury event depicted, but recall of statistical information was not as robust (51–82%). Prevention guidelines were ‘most interesting’ to a few mothers (16–18%); however, the majority was most interested in the narrative/story or the number of injuries presented. Mothers’ discussion of story content revealed clear engagement with the dangers posed and the stories presented. Specific elements of the narrative presented in the story shaped engagement as did mothers’ understanding of the statistics presented and the way that the research process was understood.

Conclusion Researchers and communication professionals who design news stories intended to convey important injury information should consider whether the story elements (type of family portrayed, use of statistics) will be compelling to the intended audience. Our study suggests that including guidelines and recommendations on how to mitigate the injury hazard are important to mothers of young children, while statistical information needs to be contextualised if presented, as it is not necessarily compelling or easily comprehensible.

  • Injury prevention
  • paediatric injury
  • parents
  • news media
  • research dissemination

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