Finnish people are more receptive to health information that is based on statistical data than information that relies on the experiences of others, according to a recent study. However, neither approach reduced vaccine hesitancy. Researchers emphasized the importance of tailoring health communication to be more effective when the target audience disagrees with the information given and does not trust the sources.
The study found that the less trust people had in the safety of vaccines, the more they based their decisions on the experiences of others rather than on statistical data. The study investigated whether individuals who were hesitant about COVID-19 and flu vaccines were more receptive to vaccine information based on other people's experiences and opinions or on statistical data about the safety and severity of the diseases.
The results showed that both types of communication had no impact on reducing vaccine hesitancy. However, participants generally found statistical information to be more relevant, useful, and less frustrating than experience-based information, even those who typically relied on the experiences of others.
The study underlined the importance of finding a communication method that people react positively to, regardless of whether the health information changes their opinions or not.