Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Publisher’s Version

Publication Date

5-2016

Abstract

Since 1960, bat rabies variants have become the greatest source of human rabies deaths in the United States. Improving rabies awareness and preventing human exposure to rabid bats remains a national public health priority today. Concurrently, conservation of bats and the ecosystem benefits they provide is of increasing importance due to declining populations of many bat species. This study used a visitor-intercept experiment (N = 521) in two U.S. national parks where human and bat interactions occur on an occasional basis to examine the relative persuasiveness of four messages differing in the provision of benefit and uncertainty information on intentions to adopt a rabies exposure prevention behavior. We found that acknowledging benefits of bats in a risk message led to greater intentions to adopt the recommended rabies exposure prevention behavior without unnecessarily stigmatizing bats. These results signify the importance of communicating benefits of bats in bat rabies prevention messages to benefit both human and wildlife health.

Discipline

Business and Corporate Communications | Health Communication | Life Sciences | Public Health

Research Areas

Corporate Communication

Publication

PLoS ONE

Volume

11

Issue

5

First Page

1

Last Page

8

ISSN

1932-6203

Identifier

10.1371/journal.pone.0156205

Publisher

Public Library of Science

Copyright Owner and License

Authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.10c12671-016-0648-z