1887
3- Medical Humanities in the Middle East Conference
  • EISSN: 2223-506X

Abstract

Globally, one-third of the world’s population has difficulty searching, comprehending, and using information needed to maintain health and well-being (Van den Broucke, 2020). Empowering people to learn and practice healthy behaviors and engage in self-care is at the core of health promotion (Van den Broucke, 2020). Appropriate health communication has been vital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic impact can be alleviated by promoting healthy behaviors while using appropriate tools to publicize information in easily understood language by the public. Most health information is accessed online so digital health communication and promotion is important. Numerous digital tools are available. Electronic mail (email) is a powerful tool to engage with various audiences using electronic devices. Worldwide 3.9 billion people use email, spending up to five hours daily to check work and personal emails (SlideShare, 2019) (Statista, 2021). Emails are cost effective and directly connect the intended audience with personalized content. MailChimp is a digital tool that the Institute for Population Health (IPH), Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar uses to disseminate credible information via email to create awareness about health-related topics. MailChimp is convenient to use with in-built templates to create visually appealing content along with the option to add unique links as required. Embedding useful links and eye-catching visuals attracts consumers to read and learn from the content. MailChimp also hosts the audience database, manages audience preferences, and facilitates scheduling/sending the newsletters. For example, the IPH ‘Stay Safe, Stay Healthy’ newsletter created on MailChimp, focuses on topics relevant to COVID-19, health, and well-being. The newsletters guide the public to navigate, and access trusted/reputable sources to adopt lifestyles appropriate for optimum health and well-being. They provide information in simple language using appealing and culturally appropriate visuals and communicate new or updated evidence as necessary. The newsletter email campaigns have garnered 111,789 opens (total times the campaign was opened by recipients) and 28,507 clicks (total times any tracked link was clicked) from March 2020-2022 (MailChimp, 2022). Reliable, evidence-based, and well-crafted health communication can facilitate behavior change, dispel fear and uncertainty, promote compliance with positive health behaviors, and disseminate reliable and succinct information (Finset, 2020). It can also help alleviate stress and feelings of ‘overwhelm’ when confronted with information overload online (Van den Broucke, 2020). Most digital tools such as MailChimp are accessible via a paid subscription. Subscription fees could be a deterrent to their use. Nevertheless, digital tools like MailChimp are an effective means to optimize emails and can contribute to health promotion by facilitating the dissemination of health-related information via email, in a timely, efficient, and effective manner.

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/content/journals/10.5339/connect.2022.medhumconf.29
2022-08-31
2022-10-04
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References

  1. Finset, A., Bosworth, H., Butow, P., Gulbrandsen, P., Hulsman, R. L., Pieterse, A. H., Street, R., Tschoetschel, R., & van Weert, J. (2020). Effective health communication - a key factor in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Patient education and counseling, 103:(5), 873–876. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2020.03.027
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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