Calculating alcohol risk in a visualization tool for promoting healthy behavior

Bissett, Scott, Wood, Sharon, Cox, Richard, Scott, Donia and Cassell, Jackie (2013) Calculating alcohol risk in a visualization tool for promoting healthy behavior. Patient Education and Counselling, 92 (2). pp. 167-173. ISSN 0738-3991

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate effective methods for communicating the personalized risks of alcohol consumption, particularly to young people.

Methods: An interactive computerized blood alcohol content calculator was implemented in Flash based on literature findings for effectively communicating risk. Young people were consulted on attitudes to the animation features and visualization techniques used to display personalized risk based on disclosed alcohol consumption.

Results: Preliminary findings reveal the calculator is relatively enjoyable to use for its genre. However, the primary aims of the visualization tool to effectively communicate personalized risk were undermined for some users by technical language. Transparency of risk calculations might further enhance the tool for others. Worryingly, user feedback revealed a tension between accurate presentation of risk and its consequent lack of sensationalism in terms of personal risk to the individual.

Conclusion: Initial findings suggest the tool may provide a relatively engaging vehicle for exploring the link between action choices and risk outcomes. Suggestions for enhancing risk communication include using intelligent techniques for selecting data presentation formats and for demonstrating the effects of sustained risky behavior.

Practice implications: Effective communication of risk contributes only partially to effecting behavior change; the role of the tool in influencing contributing attitudinal factors is also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0309 Consciousness. Cognition Including learning, attention, comprehension, memory, imagination, genius, intelligence, thought and thinking, psycholinguistics, mental fatigue
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA0075 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Depositing User: Sharon Wood
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2013 07:35
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2013 09:06
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22174
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