Future Research into Celebrity Influence

Building on the previous analysis, Hoffman et al recently published an article3 describing protocol for a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression analysis, designed to examine “the extent of the impact that celebrities have in shaping the public’s health-related knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and status.” The review will address three questions:

1.     Which health-related outcomes are influenced by celebrities?

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2.     How large of an impact do celebrities actually have on these health-related outcomes?

3.     Under what circumstances do celebrities produce either beneficial or harmful impacts?

The researchers plan to include both quantitative and qualitative studies, encompassing studies from all settings and countries that examine the impact of celebrity health activities on individuals or groups of individuals. Interventions studies will include health-related campaigns, news events, programs, or statements, with outcomes divided into short-, medium-, and long-term effects. The review will analyze both positive and negative influences, and defined a “health-related behavior” as “any action that may promote or diminish one’s health status, be that physical, mental, or emotional well-being.”3

The authors state that their team is “committed to engaging in a series of knowledge translation activities” to disseminate their findings to a ‘wide range of stakeholders in the public health arena” so that celebrities will be involved in promoting ‘positive health messages through opportunistic moments, while working in partnership to mitigate the potentially negative impact that celebrities might have.”3


1.     Canizares EM. Celebrity Worship. Degree Final Project, Ramón Llull University, Spain. (2015). Available at: http://www.enric-marti.com/doc/EnricMarti_CelebrityWorship_2015.pdf. Accessed: February 9, 2017.

2.     Gregory K. Celebrities: Who They Are, How They Gain Popularity, and Why Society Is So Fascinated with Them and Their Court Cases. Eastern Michigan University (2008). Available at: http://commons.emich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1149&context=honors. Accessed: February 9, 2017.

3.     Hoffman SJ, Mansoor Y, Natt N, et al. Celebrities’ impact on health-related knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and status outcomes: protocol for a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression analysis. Syst Rev. 2017 Jan 21;6(1):13.

4.     Hoffman SJ, Tan C. Biological, psychological and social processes that explain celebrities’ influence on patients’ health-related behaviors. Arch Public Health. 2015 Jan 19;73(1):3.

5.     Brown WJ, Basil MD. Media celebrities and public health: responses to “Magic” Johnson’s HIV disclosure and its impact on AIDS risk and high-risk behaviours. Health Commun. 1995;7(4):345–70.

6.     Kalichman SC, Hunter TL. The disclosure of celebrity HIV infection: its effects on public attitudes. Am J Public Health. 1992;82(10):1374–6.

7.     Lee J. Celebrity impact. Benefits, risks seen in hype over Jolie’s disclosure. Mod Healthc. 2013;43(20):10–1.

8.     Michael J Fox Foundation. Our Impact. Available at: https://www.michaeljfox.org/foundation/index.html?navid=foundation-home&smcid=ap-our_impact&gclid=CjwKEAiArIDFBRCe_9DJi6Or0UcSJAAK1nFvjRPS213TM326eoaeLWgsCxBhccGZoLVAFhop4s-XYhoCY7bw_wcB. Accessed: February 11, 2017.

9.     Larson RJ, Woloshin S, Schwartz LM, Welch HG. Celebrity endorsements of cancer screening. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005;97(9):693–5.

10. Better Sex: Jade Eggs for Your Yoni. Available at:  http://goop.com/better-sex-jade-eggs-for-your-yoni/. Accessed: February 9, 2017.

Table 1—Types of Databases Used to Identify Mechanisms of Celebrity Influence

• Medical
• Marketing/business
• Communications
• Psychology
• Culture
• Political Science
• Neuroscience
• Sociology

Hoffman SJ, Mansoor Y, Natt N, Sritharan L, Belluz J, Caulfield T, Freedhoff Y, Lavis JN, Sharma AM. Syst Rev. (2017) 6:13.