This paper reports on an open-ended survey of experts in the field of mass media and health promotion. The study was designed to read between the lines of published reports to identify new directions in the use of mass media in health promotion; to identify areas of consensus and controversy in the design and use of such campaigns; and to compare expert opinion with the literature. Survey responses are synthesized and reported in terms of (1) ingredients for successful mass media programs relative to program purpose, structure, and methods; and (2) obstacles to effective use of mass media for health promotion, including information overload and inconsistency, demand characteristics of the target behavior, dissemination, and unsupportive social milieus. Conclusions are presented as guidelines for pursuit of the optimal program and principles to guide further inquiry.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HealthScope is a health education based on the Health Belief Model that uses television and print materials. It was designed for a number of agendas--(a) a desire by health educators to provide health information to a broad audience at a reasonable cost (b) a desire by the local medical association to promote its role in prevention and primary care, and (c) a desire by commercial television to expand its coverage of local health issues in a cost-effective way. In its summer series, HealthScope included 10 weekly television programs that focused on various aspects of disease prevention and health promotion and answered viewers' questions on the air. Each program was followed by a bank of physicians answering questions on the telephone for 90 minutes. Corresponding fact sheets were distributed through a local pharmacy chain. A "healthy weekend" sweepstakes contest also was held. Intermediate outcome measures indicated that HealthScope had a broad reach and stimulated viewers to seek additional information about health. At the same time, the program generated revenue for the commercial television station.
Public Health Reports 110(4):483-91. · 1.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The media played a central role in changing the use of aspirin among children with viral illness following reports of its association with a rare but deadly disease, Reye's syndrome (RS). It did so by alerting health professionals and parents about ways to prevent RS in children. Indeed, by the time aspirin product labeling was required by the FDA in 1986, most of the decline in RS incidence had already occurred. In the past, media-only health education campaigns have been relatively unsuccessful in achieving long-term changes in complex health behaviors. This article supports the theory that media warnings about the hazards of common products may successfully change consumer behaviors when the illness is devastating, the behavioral message is simple, acceptable and inexpensive alternatives are available, and the campaign is comprehensive, involving multiple professional groups to reinforce direct appeals to consumers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine trends in exposure to sunlight in the context of a melanoma prevention programme by monitoring the prevalence of sunburn and sun-related attitudes and behaviours. Telephone interviews were conducted in a baseline summer (December 1987 to February 1988) and two subsequent summers after the introduction of the SunSmart health promotion campaign. Interviewing a sample of 4,428 adult residents of the Australian city of Melbourne took place throughout summer on Monday evenings. Behavioural and sunburn data were reported for the previous weekend and relevant attitudinal data were collected. After adjusting for ambient ultraviolet radiation levels and temperature, survey month, age, sex and skin type, a significant reduction in sunburn was found. The crude proportion of sunburnt dropped from 11% to 10% to 7% over 3 years and the adjusted odds ratios (and 95% confidence intervals) were as follows: Year 1/Year 2; 0.75 (CI 0.57-0.99) and Year 1/Year 3; 0.59 (CI 0.43-0.81). Substantial attitudinal shifts occurred over the 3 years. Hat wearing increased significantly each year (19%, 26%, 29%), as did sunscreen use (12%, 18%, 21%). However, the trends in mean proportion of body surface area covered by clothing were less clear cut (0.67, 0.64, 0.71). It is concluded that melanoma risk factor exposure of populations can change fairly rapidly and that well-conducted health promotion campaigns can play a part in producing such change.
European Journal of Cancer Prevention 12/1993; 2(6):447-56. DOI:10.1097/00008469-199311000-00003 · 3.03 Impact Factor
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