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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Factors Influencing Trust in Agencies That Disseminate Tobacco Prevention Information.

Friday, April 13, 2018  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Leah M. Ranney, Kristen L. Jarman, Hannah M. Baker, Maihan Vu, Seth M. Noar, Adam O. Goldstein.
Factors Influencing Trust in Agencies That Disseminate Tobacco Prevention Information.
The Journal of Primary Prevention. April 2018, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 99–116
 
Several health-related agencies administer national and targeted public education campaigns to provide health information and change health-related behaviors. The trust the public has in these agencies as the source of the message impacts the effectiveness of their communication campaigns. In this study, we explore the perceived trust of agencies that communicate health messages in the tobacco control field. As part of a larger tobacco regulatory science study, we conducted six 90-min focus groups comprising 41 participants. Five main themes emerged pertinent to the agency: (1) its integrity, (2) its competence, (3) its motives, (4) how it is portrayed in the media, and (5) skepticism and mistrust about it. Given the significant resources spent on health messaging to the public and potential benefits offered by this communication, an understanding of public trust in the agencies as the source of health messages is important. Findings suggest health information may be ignored or discounted when there is mistrust in the agency sending those messages.


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