Effects of narrative persuasion in promoting influenza vaccination in Hong Kong : A randomized controlled trial

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-807
Number of pages8
Journal / PublicationPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number4
Online published28 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


Objectives: The study examined the effectiveness of narrative persuasion in promoting influenza vaccination in Hong Kong. Methods: The study conducted a randomized controlled trial with a sample of 440 Hong Kong adults who were either at high risk or had a high-risk family member. The participants were randomly assigned to watch a narrative video, an informational video, or no message, and were assessed for perceived threats, perceived efficacy, and vaccination intent, and were followed up three months later for actual vaccination. Results: Experimental conditions produced significant differences on perceived threats of influenza but not on perceived efficacy, vaccination intent, and actual vaccination. When compared to informational messages delivered containing equivalent amount of information, narrative messages were more persuasive in promoting perceptions about influenza, equally effective in enhancing vaccination intention and actual behaviors, and equally ineffective in changing efficacy beliefs. The persuasiveness of narratives in promoting threat perceptions was found to work better for individuals with lower literacy levels. Conclusions: Incorporating authentic sociocultural beliefs and experiences in message design can effectively enhance threats perceptions related to influenza. Practice implications: Narratives presented in short-video stories could be an effective tool for promoting health threats especially among high-risk individuals with limited health literacy.

Research Area(s)

  • Health literacy, Hong Kong, Influenza, Narrative persuasion, Perceived threats, Vaccination