Plenary 2: Communication and public health

Thursday 11 November 2021, 10:10 – 11:10 AM CET.
Organisers: European Public Health Association (EUPHA), EUPHA Public health monitoring and reporting section.



Communication has always been a key part of public health. This plenary highlights current communication challenges and opportunities for public health. At the same time as we have been experiencing a pandemic, the world is also experiencing an ‘infodemic’: an overabundance of information that occurs during an epidemic. This information may be accurate or not and spreads via digital and physical information systems. It can lead to mistrust in health authorities and undermines the public health response. An ‘infodemic’ can intensify or lengthen outbreaks when people are unsure about what they need to do to protect their health and the health of people around them. It also impacts citizens in every country, and addressing them is a new and centrally important challenge in responding to disease outbreaks. The public health workforce needs to adapt to this changing environment and its growing digitization – an expansion of social media and internet use.

Once you have the right information, it’s time to change behaviour. In the second part of this plenary, we’ll dive into the theory of behaviour change, as well as present innovative interventions to change behaviour of populations. Behavioural insights combine insights from various disciplines, including psychology, cognitive science, and social science which can be used for policies that promote health and healthy environments.