Accessibility statement

March 2014 - March 2015

SCORe: Using Sonification to COmmunicate public health Risks

Dr Sandra Pauletto

Can we effectively communicate the risks of excessive alcohol consumption, to improve young people's health, though interactive media?


A picture of a part of the interactive media presentation created under the SCORe project. It features a diagram of the human body, labelled to show the problems of excessive alcohol consumption.

The SCORe Project was a collaboration between the Departments of Theatre, Film and TV and Health Sciences. It was funded by the Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders (C2D2) of the University of York, supported by the Wellcome Trust, and aimed to find new ways to communicate health information to young people effectively using interactive media. In particular this project focused on the communication of alcohol consumption data for the UK.

Excessive consumption of alcohol has been recognised as a significant risk factor impacting the health of young people. Effective communication of such risk is considered to be one key step to improve behaviour. We evaluated an innovative multimedia intervention that utilised audio and interactivity to support the visual communication of alcohol health risk data.

Building on a previous multidisciplinary project titled Jane’s story-Chronic health issues of adolescents: is the world listening?, which employed the communicative qualities of sound and music to communicate health issues, we hypothesised that a combination of film music techniques and sonification may influence how effectively and accurately one recalls information and potentially increase engagement (i.e. interested involvement) with a visual presentation of data.

This is one of the first studies on the use of sonification and music as support to health communication interventions, and it showed that our approach of using multiple modes of communication is interesting to young people and worth replicating in future studies.

This work provides a model for the design of future studies in this highly interdisciplinary and fertile area of research at the intersection between sound design, sonification, music, health communication, and interactivity.