WP 5 Healthy choices and novel science communication

Work package leader

Professor Torkjel M Sandanger

Main objective 

Develop and implement new ways of communicating evidence from public health research to people and decision makers, which enable them to make more informed decisions about healthy choices and health care, reducing inequalities in health.

PhD Projects 

1. PhD Student Kristine M. Bratland 

The object of Kristine's study is to map young adults` online health information behavior (OHISB) and their needs regarding targeted communication. The findings aim to contribute to reducing the disparity in the social gradient by facilitating informed choices. More information about Kristine's project through this link

2. PhD Student - Bente E. Schøning

Bente's project aims to understand, create, and improve key steps in the dissemination process of
Norwegian health researchers to ensure that messages reach their targets. The project
will create a broader understanding of the current status of health research dissemination and
consequently modify and improve Norwegian research dissemination. More information about Bente's project through this link

Title Description Pl Participants Collaborators Status
Targeted use of Social Media for healthier choices The aim for this task is to build knowledge through targeted use of social media and create an arena for public health knowledge. We will explore the use of Social Media (Facebook/Instagram algorithm, others like Google algorithm, Snapchat etc.) to reach selected groups in specific case studies. In the complexity of online information; it is hard to reach the target groups with group-tailored information. Currently, the largest online companies within social media have the most control of what information goes to which target group – even when limited to the Norwegian population. Together with information designers (e.g. Astromaria.no Maria Hammerstrøm), health science bloggers (e.g. medical statistician Kathrine Frey Frøslie) and Snapchat communicators (as Helsesista) we will establish a format that is recognizable and trustworthy, focusing on short graphics transferable between different SoMe platforms. We will thus build knowledge in target groups and position ourselves and our collaborators as the social media source of informed decision making for public health topics in Norway.         
Use of entertainment in Mass Media In this task we will take further innovative steps in knowledge-building over the social gradient by actively using entertainment channels to integrate scientific knowledge into decision-making scenarios in drama and comedy series and other media channels targeted to adolescents and young adults. In close cooperation with producers of drama series we want to integrate the act of making choices, based on what we know from health research, into the fiction story of e.g. a Web-TV series, podcast etc. The target groups will indirectly learn about public health decision-making through their own choice of entertainment. The characters can give voice to typical healthy choices and behavior. The (Web-) TV series-campaign will in addition include the use of social media, blogs and tailored YouTube clips (as in task 5.1). Emphasis will be put on no “finger pointing” – only illustrative, real life, examples        
Improving seniors’ health knowledge It is important to reach vulnerable groups at their own frame of understanding. In this task we will produce information tailored to their level of understanding. Information to support more informed decision-making will be distributed as short films on screens, billboards, Social Media advertisement, campaign for health apps and handouts at doctors’ offices, Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) offices, and in local newspapers. This action will be done in cooperation with the NAV (Tromsø) and Municipal MD Offices. Meeting points: NAV, Facebook, Healthy Choice Apps, Doctor’s office (Pasientsky) and local news papers        
Tracing public health knowledge building In this task we want to investigate our ability to reach target groups by designing specific questions in the follow-up of the cohorts involved where we ask specifically about knowledge communicated as part of this project. Tracing knowledge and skills in making informed decisions will be emphasized in the future planning of cohorts.        


Torkjel M Sandanger (Principal investigator)
Kristine M. Bratland
Bente Schøning