Impact of Refutational Two-Sided Messages on Attitudes Toward Novel Vaccines Against Emerging Infectious Diseases During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Hideo Okuno, Satoru Arai, Motoi Suzuki, Toshiko Kikkawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two-sided messages that include two perspectives (i.e., risks and benefits) are more effective than one-sided messages that convey only one perspective (usually only the benefits). Refutational two-sided messages are effective for communicating risks regarding vaccines. To examine the effectiveness of refutational two-sided messages in risk communication regarding novel vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, we conducted the randomized controlled study based on a 3 × 3 × 2 mixed design (Intervention 1: vaccines against subcutaneous influenza, “novel severe infectious disease,” or intranasal influenza; intervention 2: one-sided, non-refutational two-sided, or refutational two-sided messages; two questionnaires) using a Japanese online panel. Participants completed questionnaires before and after receiving an attack message (negative information). We evaluated the impact of attack messages on the willingness to be vaccinated, and the anticipated regret of inaction (ARI). Among 1,184 participants, there was a significant difference in the willingness to be vaccinated among the message groups (p < 0.01). After receiving the attack message, willingness to be vaccinated decreased in the one-sided message group and increased in the non-refutational two-sided and refutational two-sided message groups. Additionally, ARI in the refutational two-sided message groups was significantly higher than in the one-sided groups (p = 0.03). In conclusion, two-sided messages are more effective than one-sided messages in terms of willingness to be vaccinated. Furthermore, the high ARI in the refutational two-sided message group indicated that refutational two-sided messages were more effective than one-sided messages for communicating the risks of vaccines, especially those against emerging infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number775486
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 11
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • anticipated regret
  • inoculation theory
  • refutational two-sided messages
  • risk communication
  • two-sided messages
  • vaccine hesitancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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