Evaluation of a template for countering misinformation-Real-world Autism treatment myth debunking

Jessica Paynter, Sarah Luskin-Saxby, Deb Keen, Kathryn Fordyce, Grace Frost, Christine Imms, Scott Miller, David Trembath, Madonna Tucker, Ullrich Ecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Misinformation poses significant challenges to evidence-based practice. In the public health domain specifically, treatment misinformation can lead to opportunity costs or direct harm. Alas, attempts to debunk misinformation have proven sub-optimal, and have even been shown to "backfire", including increasing misperceptions. Thus, optimized debunking strategies have been developed to more effectively combat misinformation. The aim of this study was to test these strategies in a real-world setting, targeting misinformation about autism interventions. In the context of professional development training, we randomly assigned participants to an "optimized-debunking" or a "treatment-as-usual" training condition and compared support for non-empirically-supported treatments before, after, and six weeks following completion of online training. Results demonstrated greater benefits of optimized debunking immediately after training; thus, the implemented strategies can serve as a general and flexible debunking template. However, the effect was not sustained at follow-up, highlighting the need for further research into strategies for sustained change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0210746
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS One
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019

Cite this

Paynter, Jessica ; Luskin-Saxby, Sarah ; Keen, Deb ; Fordyce, Kathryn ; Frost, Grace ; Imms, Christine ; Miller, Scott ; Trembath, David ; Tucker, Madonna ; Ecker, Ullrich. / Evaluation of a template for countering misinformation-Real-world Autism treatment myth debunking. In: PLoS One. 2019 ; Vol. 14, No. 1.
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Paynter, J, Luskin-Saxby, S, Keen, D, Fordyce, K, Frost, G, Imms, C, Miller, S, Trembath, D, Tucker, M & Ecker, U 2019, 'Evaluation of a template for countering misinformation-Real-world Autism treatment myth debunking' PLoS One, vol. 14, no. 1, 0210746. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210746

Evaluation of a template for countering misinformation-Real-world Autism treatment myth debunking. / Paynter, Jessica; Luskin-Saxby, Sarah; Keen, Deb; Fordyce, Kathryn; Frost, Grace; Imms, Christine; Miller, Scott; Trembath, David; Tucker, Madonna; Ecker, Ullrich.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 14, No. 1, 0210746, 30.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Imms, Christine

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Paynter J, Luskin-Saxby S, Keen D, Fordyce K, Frost G, Imms C et al. Evaluation of a template for countering misinformation-Real-world Autism treatment myth debunking. PLoS One. 2019 Jan 30;14(1). 0210746. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210746