Instructional Messages During Health-Related Crises: Essential Content for Self-Protection

Brandi N. Frisby, Shari R. Veil, Timothy L. Sellnow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Mediated instructional messages have the potential to enhance individuals' knowledge and self-efficacy to take self-protective actions during a food-related health crisis. This two-phased study used content analysis to examine the presence of instructions during an actual egg recall crisis (n = 566 television broadcasts). Next, these messages were used in a pretest-posttest experiment to explore changes in participants' (n = 651) foodborne illness knowledge and self-efficacy after watching a standard media message or a high instruction media message. In general, actual broadcasts only provided self-protective instructions between 3% and 17% of the time. Standard messages slightly increased viewer knowledge, but decreased viewer efficacy. Conversely, the high instructional message significantly increased both knowledge and efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was developed under DHS Science and Technology Assistance Agreement P001955409 awarded by the National Center for Food Protection and Defense under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It has not been formally reviewed by DHS. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland Security does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this publication. The authors would also like to thank Francis Busta for his guidance during the research process.

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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