Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Overlooking the obvious: Communication of Efficacy by the Mass Media during the Ebola Crisis in Liberia

Poster Number

104

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Prevention and Community Health

Keywords

Ebola; prevention; self-efficacy; response efficacy; Liberia

Publication Date

4-2017

Abstract

Background

March 2014 heralded the largest Ebola outbreak in history set in West Africa. Of the over 21,000 confirmed cases, more than 11,310 deaths were recorded. It is axiomatic that during health emergencies, the public should learn about the harm reduction steps to take, have confidence in themselves, and believe these steps will yield positive outcomes. Yet, it is questionable whether mass-mediated outlets aid with these efforts.

Methods

Content analysis methodology was employed. A codebook was developed based on existing knowledge of efficacy. Clear definitions were devised and each record was systematically coded.

Data was acquired for each medium through different processes. For radio content, available Ebola-related radio programs from major radio stations were acquired. Additionally, content from three radio programs, Radio Cape Mount, Radio Joy and Youth talk Radio; specifically created to address the unfolding Ebola crisis were obtained. For newspapers, content from three major newspapers were obtained. The analysis timeframe runs from January 2014 to January 2015.

All coders (six) underwent extensive training on applying the codebook used for capturing data. Coders were broken into three teams (radio team, newspaper team, SMS and chalkboard team) and asked to code a random set of 10% of the recordings and documents to assess inter-coder reliability. Coders’ reliability ranged from K= .85 to .99. Disagreements were handled in a team meeting with team leader. Coders were split up to code the remainder of the documents only after the agreement rate was deemed satisfactory.

Results

Prevention Steps communicated. Over twenty-one prevention steps were mentioned in both radio programs and newspaper articles. The five most frequent messages were careful hand washing (14.7%), prompt notification of suspected cases (9.6%), no touching (9.4%), practice safe burial (9.2%), do not touch someone with signs of Ebola (8.6%). The five most frequent steps communicated in print content were as follows: avoid contact with contaminant (16%), practice safe burials (12.8%), no touching (12.1%), wash hands carefully (11.9%), and do not touch someone with signs of Ebola (9.1%). Self-efficacy. Messages of self-efficacy were identified in 18.9% of radio content. This rate was almost halved at 10.6 % in newspaper content. Response efficacy. Response efficacy was communicated at approximately the same rate across both channels. 14.6% of radio messages and 15% of newspaper articles communicated response efficacy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

1

Comments

Poster to be presented at GW Annual Research Days 2017.

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Overlooking the obvious: Communication of Efficacy by the Mass Media during the Ebola Crisis in Liberia

Background

March 2014 heralded the largest Ebola outbreak in history set in West Africa. Of the over 21,000 confirmed cases, more than 11,310 deaths were recorded. It is axiomatic that during health emergencies, the public should learn about the harm reduction steps to take, have confidence in themselves, and believe these steps will yield positive outcomes. Yet, it is questionable whether mass-mediated outlets aid with these efforts.

Methods

Content analysis methodology was employed. A codebook was developed based on existing knowledge of efficacy. Clear definitions were devised and each record was systematically coded.

Data was acquired for each medium through different processes. For radio content, available Ebola-related radio programs from major radio stations were acquired. Additionally, content from three radio programs, Radio Cape Mount, Radio Joy and Youth talk Radio; specifically created to address the unfolding Ebola crisis were obtained. For newspapers, content from three major newspapers were obtained. The analysis timeframe runs from January 2014 to January 2015.

All coders (six) underwent extensive training on applying the codebook used for capturing data. Coders were broken into three teams (radio team, newspaper team, SMS and chalkboard team) and asked to code a random set of 10% of the recordings and documents to assess inter-coder reliability. Coders’ reliability ranged from K= .85 to .99. Disagreements were handled in a team meeting with team leader. Coders were split up to code the remainder of the documents only after the agreement rate was deemed satisfactory.

Results

Prevention Steps communicated. Over twenty-one prevention steps were mentioned in both radio programs and newspaper articles. The five most frequent messages were careful hand washing (14.7%), prompt notification of suspected cases (9.6%), no touching (9.4%), practice safe burial (9.2%), do not touch someone with signs of Ebola (8.6%). The five most frequent steps communicated in print content were as follows: avoid contact with contaminant (16%), practice safe burials (12.8%), no touching (12.1%), wash hands carefully (11.9%), and do not touch someone with signs of Ebola (9.1%). Self-efficacy. Messages of self-efficacy were identified in 18.9% of radio content. This rate was almost halved at 10.6 % in newspaper content. Response efficacy. Response efficacy was communicated at approximately the same rate across both channels. 14.6% of radio messages and 15% of newspaper articles communicated response efficacy.