Department of Communication Studies
Investigating the effects of mass media exposure on the uptake of preventive measures by Hong Kong residents during the 2015 MERS outbreak: The mediating role of interpersonal communication and the perception of concern
In 2015, South Korea experienced the largest outbreak to date of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) outside the Middle East. Fears related to a potential spread of the disease led to an increased alert level as well as heightened media coverage in the neighboring Hong Kong. A cross-sectional survey (N = 533) among residents of Hong Kong was conducted to assess the relationships between the effects of outbreak-related mass media coverage, interpersonal communication, the perceived level of concern in one’s close environment, and the uptake of preventive measures. A serial multiple mediator model finds that interpersonal communication and higher perceived concern indirectly influence the effects of media coverage on the engagement in preventive actions. These results expand previous research on the mediating role of interpersonal communication and support assumptions about a modified two-step flow of communication in the context of a public health emergency.
Source Publication Title
Journal of Health Communication
Taylor & Francis
Link to Publisher's Edition
Ludolph, Ramona, Schulz Peter J., and Ling Chen. "Investigating the effects of mass media exposure on the uptake of preventive measures by Hong Kong residents during the 2015 MERS outbreak: The mediating role of interpersonal communication and the perception of concern." Journal of Health Communication 23.1 (2018): 1-8.