Rapid Evidence Review: The Effectiveness of Selected Interventions for Tackling Public Health Misinformation

Since July 2022, IPPO and its research partner the EPPI centre has been developing a rapid evidence review on the subject of strategies to counter public health misinformation, particularly with relation to COVID-19.

Over two months, IPPO and EPPI met with key stakeholders to find out what policymakers wanted to know on the subject, and how a synthesis of information contained in published research studies could help fill this evidence gap.

Our initial conversations have helped us narrow down our rapid evidence review of the effectiveness of selected interventions for tackling public health misinformation, to the following title:

Debunking vaccine-related misinformation versus providing accurate or vaccine-promoting information only, or not responding, for reducing vaccine hesitancy and increasing uptake: a rapid evidence review

The key question the review aims to answer is: When is debunking misinformation about vaccines likely to be a better option than either providing accurate information only, or not responding, for:

  • Reducing people’s vaccine-related misinformation beliefs, or vaccine hesitancy;
  • Changing people’s attitudes to vaccines; and/or
  • Increasing people’s intentions to be vaccinated, or vaccine uptake?

While the available research evidence cannot fully answer the ‘when?’ (‘for whom?’ and ‘under what circumstances?’) question(s), we still hope to derive useful, practical insights for use by public health communicators and policymakers, based on summarising the evidence from at least 20 eligible studies.

We are keen to hear from people who are interested in this subject and would like to know more about our work as it progresses. We expect to publish the findings of the report on December 12, 2022, and you can find out more about the parameters of the review here.

Please email s.o’meara@ucl.ac.uk for any more information.