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Opportunities for technologically driven dialogical health communication for participatory interventions: Perspectives from male peer navigators in rural South Africa

Gibbs, A; Gumede, D; Luthuli, M; Xulu, Z; Washington, L; Sikweyiya, Y; Adeagbo, O; (2021) Opportunities for technologically driven dialogical health communication for participatory interventions: Perspectives from male peer navigators in rural South Africa. Social Science & Medicine , Article 114539. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114539. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

There is increasing interest in the potential to deliver participatory dialogical HIV and intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention interventions via digital platforms, though the majority of mHealth interventions have been didactic in approach. We undertook 10 in-depth interviews with male Peer Navigators (PNs) who had been extensively trained and working on a larger intervention promoting young people's sexual and reproductive rights, in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Interviews focused on their, and their peers', use of technology in their everyday lives. Data were transcribed and translated, and subjected to thematic analysis. PNs described structural barriers to the use of technology, including poor connectivity, high data costs, and erratic electricity. They primarily used Facebook and WhatsApp for communication and highlighted how reading messages asynchronously was important to overcome connectivity challenges. PNs shared how groups were primarily for information sharing, they also discussed 'sensitive' issues online. Privacy was a concern, especially for conversations, and there was recognition of how confidentiality could be breached. It was also felt that WhatsApp could potentially support greater openness in discussions. We reflect on the potential for online interventions to support dialogical health communication, highlighting how dialogical health communication may be enabled through information provision, the asynchronous communication enhancing the potential for reflection, and greater participation in discussion by those who are shyer. Despite this potential there remain important risks around privacy of discussions and how to implement these approaches online.

Type: Article
Title: Opportunities for technologically driven dialogical health communication for participatory interventions: Perspectives from male peer navigators in rural South Africa
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114539
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114539
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Communication, HIV, IPV, Online, Participation, Virtual
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10139103
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