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public is likely to react to such events, strategies for more effective crisis and risk
communication can be developed and designed to address any knowledge gaps,
misperceptions and behavioral responses that are contrary to public health advice.
Methods: This study had three stages. The first stage consisted of focus groups which identified perceptions of and reactions to a covert radiological device. The incident was introduced to participants using a series of mock newspaper and broadcast injects to convey the evolving scenario. The outcomes of these focus groups were used to inform national telephone surveys, which quantified intended behaviors and assessed what perceptions were correlated with these behaviors. Focus group and survey results were used to develop video and leaflet communication interventions, which were then evaluated in a second round of focus groups.
Results: In the first two stages, misperceptions about the likelihood and routes of
exposure were associated with higher levels of worry and greater likelihood of engaging in behaviors that might be detrimental to ongoing public health efforts. The final focus groups demonstrated that both types of misunderstanding are amenable to change following targeted communication.
Conclusion: Should terrorists succeed in placing a hidden radiological device in a
public location, then health agencies may find that it is easier to communicate effectively with the public if they explicitly and clearly discuss the mechanisms through which someone could be affected by the radiation and the known geographical spread of any risk. Messages which explain how the risk from a hidden radiological device ‘‘works’’ should be prepared and tested in advance so that they can be rapidly deployed if the need arises.
- Health Behaviour
- Persuasive Communication
- Radiation Protection
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Communicating with the Public Following Radiological Terrorism: Results from a Series of Focus Groups and National Surveys in Britain and Germany'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
Delivering extreme event preparedness education in schools: A systematic review of educational preparedness resources available in EnglandHodson, A., Pearce, J., Amlot, R. & Rogers, B., Jan 2024, In: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 100, 25 p., 104171.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review article › peer-reviewOpen Access
Challenges for effective counterterrorism communication: Practitioner insights and policy implications for preventing radicalisation, disrupting attack planning and mitigating terrorist attacksParker, D., Pearce, J. M., Lindekilde, L. & Rogers, M. B., 26 Sept 2017, In: STUDIES IN CONFLICT AND TERRORISM. 42, 3, p. 264-291
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile12 Citations (Scopus)278 Downloads (Pure)
Rogers, M. B., 24 May 2017, BBC News.
Research output: Contribution to specialist publication › ArticleOpen Access