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      Participatory co-design of science communication strategies for public engagement in the US and Ecuador around health behaviour change


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          Science communication research and practice currently promote strategies oriented towards creating audience engagement around scientific content. Consequently, science communication needs to continually explore new methodologies that enable audiences’ participation in order to meet their interests and needs. The present study combines qualitative and participatory action research (PAR) methods guided by decolonial epistemologies to develop a co-designed project with public health, nutrition and sports science researchers to recruit young audiences from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, and from Cuenca, Ecuador. The main goal of this study was to create strategies to motivate young audiences’ engagement and interest in adopting healthy habits. This article focuses on the study’s research design in order to provide guidelines and procedural recommendations for facilitating a co-design approach for developing science communication initiatives targeting children and teenagers in Ecuador and the United States. As we demonstrate, the PAR approach for co-design leads to useful outcomes: (1) the incorporation of decolonial theory guidelines in participatory research; and (2) the development of science communication strategies that combine online and offline activities to put in dialogue scientists and their audiences, ultimately resulting in mutual learning, thus allowing scholars and practitioners to explore in practical terms how to co-design improved strategies.

          Most cited references59

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          Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm

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            Health promotion by social cognitive means.

            This article examines health promotion and disease prevention from the perspective of social cognitive theory. This theory posits a multifaceted causal structure in which self-efficacy beliefs operate together with goals, outcome expectations, and perceived environmental impediments and facilitators in the regulation of human motivation, behavior, and well-being. Belief in one's efficacy to exercise control is a common pathway through which psychosocial influences affect health functioning. This core belief affects each of the basic processes of personal change--whether people even consider changing their health habits, whether they mobilize the motivation and perseverance needed to succeed should they do so, their ability to recover from setbacks and relapses, and how well they maintain the habit changes they have achieved. Human health is a social matter, not just an individual one. A comprehensive approach to health promotion also requires changing the practices of social systems that have widespread effects on human health.
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              Action Research and Minority Problems

              Kurt Lewin (1946)

                Author and article information

                Research for All
                UCL Press (UK )
                18 October 2022
                : 6
                : 1
                : 22
                [1 ]Assistant Professor, School of Communication, College of Philosophy, University of Cuenca, Ecuador
                [2 ]Associate Professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, University of New Mexico, USA
                Author notes
                Author information
                Copyright 2022, Denisse Vásquez-Guevara, David Weiss and Judith McIntosh White

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                : 20 May 2021
                : 25 August 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 1, References: 61, Pages: 18

                Assessment, Evaluation & Research methods,Education & Public policy,Educational research & Statistics
                health communication,science communication,decolonial theory,participatory action research,science communication for public engagement


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