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Persuasion in Medicine: Experimental Evidence on Sender and Signal Effects

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
 
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04160975
Recruitment Status : Enrolling by invitation
First Posted : November 13, 2019
Last Update Posted : November 13, 2019
Sponsor:
Collaborators:
Stanford University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Marcella Alsan, Harvard University

Brief Summary:
The aim of the study is to identify what sender/signal combinations are most persuasive in encouraging low socioeconomic males living in the U.S. to take-up seasonal flu vaccination. The investigators plan to recruit male subjects and randomly assign them to three persuasion treatments: two of which vary dimensions of the sender of medical recommendation (concordance and authority treatments) and one which varies the signal (validation). Specifically, the investigators will show subjects videos of either black or white male "actors" providing scripted information on the flu vaccination. The investigators cross-randomize race with authority as the actor will portray either a actor or a layperson. In addition, the investigators will vary the script used in the experiment between one that acknowledges past injustices (indicated as a validation script hereafter) and one that does not (indicated as a baseline script hereafter). Lastly, the investigators will randomize offer prices for a free flu shot coupon. The design requires collection of baseline and endline surveys combined with administrative data from pharmacies about coupon redemption. The outcomes of interest are posterior beliefs about seasonal flu vaccination, demand and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for a free flu shot coupon and redemption of the coupon.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Flu, Human Influenza, Human Behavioral: Video about safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
The investigators will recruit approximately 1,000 African American or Caucasian adult males with a high-school diploma or less. The investigators will oversample African American individuals, emphasizing low-income and minority men because these characteristics are correlated with lower relative take-up of flu vaccination. After informed consent is obtained, subjects will be asked about sociodemographic information (age, education, income and marital status), healthcare experience and past medical history, knowledge and beliefs about flu vaccination, and location of the nearest pharmacy. The investigators will then randomly assign the adult male subjects to videos which contain one of black or white actors playing the role of either a doctor or a layperson as well as different scripts. The content of the infomercial will be the safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination. After the video, the investigators will obtain information on beliefs regarding flu vaccination, feedback on the video, attention to the video and willingness-to-pay for a flu shot coupon. The investigators will track coupon redemption, which is redeemable at most pharmacies nationwide.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 1000 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Care Provider)
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: Persuasion in Medicine: Experimental Evidence on Sender and Signal Effects
Actual Study Start Date : October 31, 2019
Estimated Primary Completion Date : February 29, 2020
Estimated Study Completion Date : June 15, 2020

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Flu Flu Shot

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Concordant actor/Authority/Baseline Script
Video which contains a racially concordant actor playing a doctor and reading a baseline script.
Behavioral: Video about safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination
The investigators will show subjects videos of either black or white male "actors" providing scripted information on the flu vaccination. The content of the video will be the safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination. The videos contain one of black or white actors playing the role of either a doctor or a layperson as well as different scripts.

Experimental: Concordant actor/Authority/Validation Script
Video which contains a racially concordant actor playing a doctor and reading a validation script.
Behavioral: Video about safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination
The investigators will show subjects videos of either black or white male "actors" providing scripted information on the flu vaccination. The content of the video will be the safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination. The videos contain one of black or white actors playing the role of either a doctor or a layperson as well as different scripts.

Experimental: Concordant actor/Layperson/Baseline Script
Video which contains a racially concordant actor playing a layperson and reading a baseline script.
Behavioral: Video about safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination
The investigators will show subjects videos of either black or white male "actors" providing scripted information on the flu vaccination. The content of the video will be the safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination. The videos contain one of black or white actors playing the role of either a doctor or a layperson as well as different scripts.

Experimental: Concordant actor/Layperson/Validation Script
Video which contains a racially concordant actor playing a layperson and reading a validation script.
Behavioral: Video about safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination
The investigators will show subjects videos of either black or white male "actors" providing scripted information on the flu vaccination. The content of the video will be the safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination. The videos contain one of black or white actors playing the role of either a doctor or a layperson as well as different scripts.

Experimental: Discordant actor/Authority/Baseline Script
Video which contains a racially discordant actor playing a doctor and reading a baseline script.
Behavioral: Video about safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination
The investigators will show subjects videos of either black or white male "actors" providing scripted information on the flu vaccination. The content of the video will be the safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination. The videos contain one of black or white actors playing the role of either a doctor or a layperson as well as different scripts.

Experimental: Discordant actor/Authority/Validation Script
Video which contains a racially discordant actor playing a doctor and reading a validation script.
Behavioral: Video about safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination
The investigators will show subjects videos of either black or white male "actors" providing scripted information on the flu vaccination. The content of the video will be the safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination. The videos contain one of black or white actors playing the role of either a doctor or a layperson as well as different scripts.

Experimental: Discordant actor/Layperson/Baseline Script
Video which contains a racially discordant actor playing a layperson and reading a baseline script.
Behavioral: Video about safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination
The investigators will show subjects videos of either black or white male "actors" providing scripted information on the flu vaccination. The content of the video will be the safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination. The videos contain one of black or white actors playing the role of either a doctor or a layperson as well as different scripts.

Experimental: Discordant actor/Layperson/Validation Script
Video which contains a racially discordant actor playing a layperson and reading a validation script.
Behavioral: Video about safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination
The investigators will show subjects videos of either black or white male "actors" providing scripted information on the flu vaccination. The content of the video will be the safety and effectiveness of adult seasonal flu vaccination. The videos contain one of black or white actors playing the role of either a doctor or a layperson as well as different scripts.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Posterior beliefs about the risk/benefits of the flu shot [ Time Frame: This outcome will be assessed during Baseline survey, which takes approximately 20 minutes. ]
    The investigators will examine whether a subject updated their beliefs about the risk and benefits of the flu shot after watching the infomercial video.

  2. Willingness-to-pay (WTP) for a free flu shot coupon [ Time Frame: This outcome will be assessed during Baseline survey, which takes approximately 20 minutes. ]
    The investigators will elicit and measure a subject's flu shot coupon valuations.

  3. Level of attention and recall from the infomercial video during Baseline survey [ Time Frame: This outcome will be assessed during Baseline survey, which takes approximately 20 minutes. ]
    The investigators will measure a subject's level of attention and recall from the infomercial video, which could potentially affect their belief updating and decisions on coupon redemption.

  4. Level of attention and recall from the infomercial video during Endline survey [ Time Frame: This outcome will be assessed during Endline survey, which takes approximately 3 months after the intervention. ]
    The investigators will measure a subject's level of attention and recall from the infomercial video, which could potentially affect their belief updating and decisions on coupon redemption.

  5. Redemption of said coupon [ Time Frame: This outcome will be assessed during the time between Baseline and Endline survey (approximately 3 months time gap). ]
    The investigators will collect information indicating whether a subject redeemed a flu shot coupon after watching the infomercial video.



Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.


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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 51 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Gender Based Eligibility:   Yes
Gender Eligibility Description:   The investigators will only recruit male subjects.
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age: See above.
  • Education: Less than a college degree.
  • Gender: Male.
  • Race: Caucasian or African American.
  • Miscellaneous: Has not received the flu shot in the current flu season yet.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Fast survey-taking: subjects who are among the 5% fastest in terms of total time spent on survey within race and treatment group.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT04160975


Locations
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United States, Massachusetts
Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, 02138
Sponsors and Collaborators
Harvard University
Stanford University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Responsible Party: Marcella Alsan, Principal Investigator, Harvard University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04160975    
Other Study ID Numbers: IRB19-1424
First Posted: November 13, 2019    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: November 13, 2019
Last Verified: November 2019
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Marcella Alsan, Harvard University:
Belief Updating
Preventive Care
Racial Disparity
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Influenza, Human
Orthomyxoviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Respiratory Tract Infections
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Vaccines
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs