Informed Health Choices Podcasts

Evaluated

This resource has been evaluated rigorously

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6 Recommendations | 1 Comment

Format: Audio
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Language/s: English
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Resource Link: Listen to Podcast
Short Description:

Each episode includes a short story with an example of a treatment claim and a simple explanation of a Key Concept used to assess that claim

Key Concepts addressed:

Details

The Informed Health Choices (IHC) podcast is designed to teach the parents of primary school children to assess claims about treatment effects and to make informed health choices. Each of the nine episodes includes a short story with an example of a treatment claim, a simple explanation of a concept used to assess that claim, another example of a claim illustrating the same concept, and its corresponding explanation. In each story there is a question about the trustworthiness of a claim, which is resolved by applying the relevant Key Concept. All episodes have a conclusion with a take-home message emphasising the concept. The examples used in the podcast are for claims about treatments for health conditions, which are of interest to the target audience, such as malaria, diarrhoea, and HIV/AIDS. We have also included claims about some common practices, such as contraception, which are of interest to our audience.

User testing in Uganda shows that parents perceive the podcast to be useful. We are currently evaluating the effects of the podcast in a fair comparison in Uganda. We have randomly allocated half of over 600 parents of fifth-grade students to receive the podcast. We will compare their ability to apply the Key Concepts to the ability of the other parents.

The topics and claims were identified from scanning recent mass media reports and interviewing parents. There are eight main episodes in the series covering nine Key Concepts. Each episode lasts about five minutes. One of the episodes (episode one) covers two closely related Key Concepts (1.1 and 3.5). Two additional episodes introduce the podcast and summarise the key messages from the first eight episodes, respectively. The final structure, content, presentation of the content in each episode, and the series as a whole was informed by an iterative user-centred process of development and user-testing. This process involved consultation with various stakeholders, including parents in our target audience, on the appropriate content to be included, and the presentation of this content in each episode, and in the podcast as a whole.

Evaluation details

Semakula D, Nsangi A, Oxman M, Rosenbaum S, Austvoll-Dahlgren A, Glenton C, Lewin S, Chalmers I, Oxman AD, Sewankambo NK. User experiences of the Informed Health Choices podcast to improve the ability of parents of primary school children in Uganda to assess claims about treatment effects. In preparation.

Semakula D, Nsangi A, Oxman M, Austvoll-Dahlgren A, Rosenbaum S, Kaseje M, Nyirazinyoye L, Fretheim A, Chalmers I, Oxman AD, Sewankambo NK (2016). Can an educational podcast improve the ability of parents of primary school children to assess the reliability of claims about the benefits and harms of treatments? Protocol for a randomized trial. Trials, submitted.

Semakula D, Nsangi A, Glenton C, Kaseje M, Lewin S, Oxman AD, Oxman M, Rosenbaum S, Austvoll-Dahlgren A, Chalmers I, Fretheim A, Sewankambo NK. A podcast to enable the parents of primary school children in Uganda to assess claims about treatment effects: Process evaluation. IHC Working Paper, in press.

  • S4BE

    The following comment is written by Georgia Richards for Students 4 Best Evidence and can be viewed here: http://www.students4bestevidence.net/informed-health-choices-podcasts-benefits-harms/

    The comment specifically refers to the ‘Harms and Benefits’ podcast within this series.

    Roughly how long did it take you to read/view/complete the resource?

    This resource is a 6.5-minute podcast (audio file) that explains how treatments can have both good (beneficial) and bad (harmful) effects on your health.

    What did you think of the resource? (e.g. was it clear or difficult to understand?)

    The resource was clear, used simple language and was easy to understand as it informed the audience using a conversation between a parent and an experienced health professional.

    Do you feel it improved your understanding?

    It did not increase my understanding as I feel that I have already acquired this knowledge. However, I feel that it is a great resource to improve (for example) the understanding of parents with children in developing countries as it focuses on Malaria treatment, a common health issue in developing countries.

    What problems did you find with it (if any) / how do you think it could be improved?

    The only issue with the resource is its length (6.5 minutes) and specificity to Malaria treatment. To improve the resource, the podcast could be reduced to 2-3 minutes. To appeal to an audience in a developed country, the conversation between the parent and health professional could focus on antibiotic medications or another commonly required medication for children.

    Overall, what would you score the resource out of 5? (and why?)

    I would score the resource a 4 out of 5 because of its clear and simple message, that is easy for a broad, public audience to understand.