Review: Strategies for disseminating and implementing COVID-19 public health prevention practices in rural areas

Home/Review: Strategies for disseminating and implementing COVID-19 public health prevention practices in rural areas

Review: Strategies for disseminating and implementing COVID-19 public health prevention practices in rural areas

Review: Strategies for disseminating and implementing COVID-19 public health prevention practices in rural areas

This peer-reviewed commentary provides evidence-based strategies local health and civic leaders can use to communicate public health information in rural areas.

Local health and civic leaders are critically important in communicating risk and the importance of adopting prevention practices to limit the spread of COVID-19, especially to rural residents who may not perceive themselves at risk. Currently, rural areas are seeing fewer confirmed cases of the virus, which provides an opportunity to mitigate further spread into these areas. Based on previous research, the following communicative strategies are recommended:

  • Contextualize risk and prevention: residents need to understand the message’s relevance to them
  • Utilize community leaders: residents are more likely to trust local business and religious leaders than state and federal leaders
  • Disseminate strengths-based messaging: residents have a strong sense of community and resilience that can be tapped into by focusing on how prevention efforts are helping the community

By using tailored strategies to effectively communicate risk and prevention practices, the potential to mitigate the spread of the virus in rural areas when the prevalence is still low can have a tremendous impact on decreasing the spread of COVID-19.

|2020-04-07T13:04:49-04:00April 7th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Review: Strategies for disseminating and implementing COVID-19 public health prevention practices in rural areas

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

Get Involved with Indiana CTSI