Efficacy methods to evaluate health communication and marketing campaigns.
ABSTRACT Communication and marketing are growing areas of health research, but relatively few rigorous efficacy studies have been conducted in these fields. In this article, we review recent health communication and marketing efficacy research, present two case studies that illustrate some of the considerations in making efficacy design choices, and advocate for greater emphasis on rigorous health communication and marketing efficacy research and the development of a research agenda. Much of the outcomes research in health communication and marketing, especially mass media, utilizes effectiveness designs conducted in real time, in the media markets or communities in which messages are delivered. Such evaluations may be impractical or impossible, however, imiting opportunities to advance the state of health communication and marketing research and the knowledge base on effective campaign strategies, messages, and channels. Efficacy and effectiveness studies use similar measures of behavior change. Efficacy studies, however, offer greater opportunities for experimental control, message exposure, and testing of health communication and marketing theory. By examining the literature and two in-depth case studies, we identify advantages and limitations to efficacy studies. We also identify considerations for when to adopt efficacy and effectiveness methods, alone or in combination. Finally, we outline a research agenda to investigate issues of internal and external validity, mode of message presentation, differences between marketing and message strategies, and behavioral outcomes.
Article: Impact of a parent-child sexual communication campaign: results from a controlled efficacy trial of parents.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Prior research supports the notion that parents have the ability to influence their children's decisions regarding sexual behavior. Yet parent-based approaches to curbing teen pregnancy and STDs have been relatively unexplored. The Parents Speak Up National Campaign (PSUNC) is a multimedia campaign that attempts to fill this void by targeting parents of teens to encourage parent-child communication about waiting to have sex. The campaign follows a theoretical framework that identifies cognitions that are targeted in campaign messages and theorized to influence parent-child communication. While a previous experimental study showed PSUNC messages to be effective in increasing parent-child communication, it did not address how these effects manifest through the PSUNC theoretical framework. The current study examines the PSUNC theoretical framework by 1) estimating the impact of PSUNC on specific cognitions identified in the theoretical framework and 2) examining whether those cognitions are indeed associated with parent-child communication Our study consists of a randomized efficacy trial of PSUNC messages under controlled conditions. A sample of 1,969 parents was randomly assigned to treatment (PSUNC exposure) and control (no exposure) conditions. Parents were surveyed at baseline, 4 weeks, 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months post-baseline. Linear regression procedures were used in our analyses. Outcome variables included self-efficacy to communicate with child, long-term outcome expectations that communication would be successful, and norms on appropriate age for sexual initiation. We first estimated multivariable models to test whether these cognitive variables predict parent-child communication longitudinally. Longitudinal change in each cognitive variable was then estimated as a function of treatment condition, controlling for baseline individual characteristics. Norms related to appropriate age for sexual initiation and outcome expectations that communication would be successful were predictive of parent-child communication among both mothers and fathers. Treatment condition mothers exhibited larger changes than control mothers in both of these cognitive variables. Fathers exhibited no exposure effects. Results suggest that within a controlled setting, the "wait until older norm" and long-term outcome expectations were appropriate cognitions to target and the PSUNC media materials were successful in impacting them, particularly among mothers. This study highlights the importance of theoretical frameworks for parent-focused campaigns that identify appropriate behavioral precursors that are both predictive of a campaign's distal behavioral outcome and sensitive to campaign messages.Reproductive Health 01/2010; 7:17.
Article: Community involvement in the development and feedback about a colorectal cancer screening media campaign in Ohio Appalachia.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A community needs assessment focused on colorectal cancer (CRC) screening knowledge, behaviors, and barriers was completed in one Ohio Appalachia county. A CRC screening media campaign was developed based on the findings from the needs assessment and feedback was obtained about the media campaign. The survey was completed by 170 self-reported average-risk adults. In a multivariate model, the CRC screening rate was higher for participants who had received a doctor's recommendation (OR = 6.09) and had adequate CRC knowledge (OR = 2.88), and it was lower among participants employed full-time (OR = 0.23). Having health insurance (OR = 4.20) and being married (OR = 2.58) was associated with having received a doctor's recommendation for screening. Campaign feedback using a second survey completed by self-reported average-risk adults (n = 61) revealed that 69% recognized the campaign image and message, with a billboard being the most cited source. This study highlights the importance of involving community members in the development of CRC screening programs to reduce cancer disparities in Appalachia.Health Promotion Practice 11/2010; 12(4):589-99.