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Practical recommendations to communicate with patients about health-related conspiracy theories

Marques, Mathew, Douglas, Karen, Jolley, Daniel (2022) Practical recommendations to communicate with patients about health-related conspiracy theories. Medical Journal of Australia, 216 (8). pp. 381-384. (doi:10.5694/mja2.51475) (KAR id:93561)


Health-related conspiracy theories often advance the argument that information is being kept secret from the public by powerful individuals or groups within the government or health industry. They are widespread and are associated with important health attitudes, intentions, and behaviours. Recent research suggests that individuals are attracted to conspiracy theories to satisfy three important and fundamental psychological needs: epistemic, existential, and social needs. Understanding these underlying motivations associated with health-related conspiracy theories can help address patients’ beliefs. Debunking and inoculation are discussed as approaches that can be used to address patients’ belief in health-related conspiracy theories.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.5694/mja2.51475
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2022 16:14 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2024 20:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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