Reimagining Health Communication: A Noninferiority Randomized Controlled Trial of Crowdsourced Intervention in China

Weiming Tang, Jessica Mao, Chuncheng Liu, Katie Mollan, Ye Zhang, Songyuan Tang, Michael Hudgens, Wei Ma, Dianmin Kang, Chongyi Wei, Joseph D. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Crowdsourcing, the process of shifting individual tasks to a large group, may be useful for health communication, making it more people-centered. We aimed to evaluate whether a crowdsourced video is noninferior to a social marketing video in promoting condom use. Methods Men who have sex with men (≥16 years old, had condomless sex within 3 months) were recruited and randomly assigned to watch 1 of the 2 videos in 2015. The crowdsourced video was developed through an open contest, and the social marketing video was designed by using social marketing principles. Participants completed a baseline survey and follow-up surveys at 3 weeks and 3 months postintervention. The outcome was compared with a noninferiority margin of +10%. Results Among the 1173 participants, 907 (77%) and 791 (67%) completed the 3-week and 3-month follow-ups. At 3 weeks, condomless sex was reported by 146 (33.6%) of 434 participants and 153 (32.3%) 473 participants in the crowdsourced and social marketing arms, respectively. The crowdsourced intervention achieved noninferiority (estimated difference, +1.3%; 95% confidence interval, -4.8% to 7.4%). At 3 months, 196 (52.1%) of 376 individuals and 206 (49.6%) of 415 individuals reported condomless sex in the crowdsourced and social-marketing arms (estimated difference: +2.5%, 95% confidence interval, -4.5 to 9.5%). The 2 arms also had similar human immunodeficiency virus testing rates and other condom-related secondary outcomes. Conclusions Our study demonstrates that crowdsourced message is noninferior to a social marketing intervention in promoting condom use among Chinese men who have sex with men. Crowdsourcing contests could have a wider reach than other approaches and create more people-centered intervention tools for human immunodeficiency virus control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Reimagining Health Communication: A Noninferiority Randomized Controlled Trial of Crowdsourced Intervention in China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this