Health promotion, health literacy and vaccine hesitancy: the role of humanoid robots

McIntosh, Christine, Elvin, Ann, Smyth, Wendy, Birks, Melanie, and Nagle, Cate (2022) Health promotion, health literacy and vaccine hesitancy: the role of humanoid robots. Inquiry, 59.

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The use of humanoid robot technologies within global healthcare settings is rapidly evolving; however, the potential of robots in health promotion and health education is not established. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of a social humanoid robot on individuals’ knowledge of influenza (flu) prevention and attitudes towards influenza vaccination. A multi-methods approach involving pre and post-test questions and interviews was used. The study was undertaken in a publicly funded tertiary level hospital in northern Queensland, Australia. Of the 995 participants, the majority were visitors (53.07%). The mean age of the participants was 42.25 (SD=19.54) years. Based on the three knowledge questions that were posed at the two-point interactions of participants with the humanoid robot ‘Pepper’, the results showed that there was a significant difference in the correct responses pre- and post-test regarding the best way to avoid getting the flu (Exact McNemar significance probability <.0001), how long the flu virus can live outside the human body (p <.0001) and the length of time for handwashing to be effective against spreading germs (p <.0001). The results also showed that there was a significant difference in attitudes associated with influenza vaccination when pre-test was compared to post-test (p=.0019). Interaction of the participants with the humanoid robot demonstrated immediate knowledge gains and attitudinal change that suggests that humanoid robots may be an important intervention for health promotion in prevention of influenza and other respiratory viruses.

Item ID: 71306
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1945-7243
Keywords: health promotion, health literacy, robotics, infection prevention, influenza
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 03:48
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200203 Health education and promotion @ 100%
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