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Exploring the role of trust in health risk communication in Nunavik, Canada

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 April 2019

Amanda D. Boyd
Affiliation:
The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University, 101 Goertzen Hall, Pullman, Washington 99163, USA
Chris M. Furgal
Affiliation:
Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, Ontario K9L 0G2, Canada
Alyssa M. Mayeda
Affiliation:
The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University, 101 Goertzen Hall, Pullman, Washington 99163, USA
Cindy G. Jardine
Affiliation:
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Fraser Valley, 45190 Caen Ave, Chilliwack, British Columbia V2R 0N3Canada
S. Michelle Driedger
Affiliation:
Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, 750 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E 0W3Canada
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Communicating about health risks in the Arctic can be challenging. Numerous factors can hinder or promote effective communication. One of the most important components in effective communication is trust in an information source. This is particularly true when a risk is unfamiliar or complex because the public must rely on expert assessment rather than personal evaluation of the risk. A total of 112 Inuit residents from Nunavik, Canada, were interviewed to better understand the factors that influence trust in individuals or organisations. Results indicate that there are six primary factors that influence trust in an information source. These factors include: (1) whether the information source is a friend or family member; (2) past performance of the individual or organisation; (3) the general disposition of the audience member (that is, he or she believes that most people are trustworthy); (4) the openness or candidness of the source; (5) value similarity (referring to the perceived correspondence in values between the audience member and communicator); and (6) the credibility of the source. The results of this study can help determine who or what agencies should provide messages about health risks in the Arctic. It also provides insight about effective strategies for engendering trust among Arctic residents.

Type
Research Note
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019 

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