ERIC Number: EJ1094668
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
Myth-Busting Is a Bust for Patient Education: Making Salient Older Adults' Misconceptions about Osteoarthritis Fails to Lead to Lasting Corrections
Ansburg, Pamela I.
Educational Gerontology, v42 n5 p330-341 2016
Older adults hold many misconceptions about health and wellness that reduce their health literacy. To counter these misconceptions, health educators commonly turn to educational interventions that include myth-busting--making explicit health-related myths and refuting those myths. Because of typical age-related changes in memory functioning, there is some question as to whether myth-busting is an effective technique for use with older adults. The present work assessed whether making older adults explicitly aware of common myths about osteoarthritis and refuting those myths would effectively debunk those myths and lead to correct beliefs about osteoarthritis. Older adults participated in two data collection sessions separated, on average, by 5 days. During the first session, participants read pamphlets about osteoarthritis that either employed myth-busting techniques or did not. Then after a brief delay, participants completed a quiz that measured adherence to the myths. Adherence to the myths was assessed again during the second data collection session. The analyses revealed that making myths salient significantly reduced adherence to myths immediately after the myth-busting presentation; however, as time passed, the corrective effects of myth-busting dissipated. Medical myth-busting appears to be an ineffective way to induce long-term corrections in older adults. Future research should focus on identifying methods by which health educators could leverage myth-busting's short-term positive impact to affect long-lasting corrections. Until there is evidence that the positive impact of myth-busting can be maintained over time, health educators should be wary of using this technique with older adult patients.
Descriptors: Patient Education, Patients, Older Adults, Misconceptions, Pain, Diseases, Clinical Diagnosis, Aging (Individuals), Wellness, Health Promotion, Health Education, Data Collection, Statistical Analysis, Health, Control Groups, Individual Differences, Health Materials, Scores, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Shipley Institute of Living Scale