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Quantitative Analysis of the Impact of the Stop the Australia Vaccination Network Campaign on the Public Profile and Finances of the Australian (anti) Vaccination Network

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... For example, they do not give any empirical evidence that mandatory vaccination for health workers improves health outcomes. SAVN commentators claim they have been effective, saying that their activities have curtailed the influence of the AVN by reducing its income and its credibility in media stories [38][39][40]. However, SAVN, despite a massive investment of effort in its campaign against the AVN, has never presented strong evidence that its campaign has increased vaccination rates or reduced the incidence or impact of vaccine-preventable illness. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background When promoting public health measures, such as reducing smoking, there are many different approaches, for example providing information, imposing legal restrictions, taxing products, and changing cultures. By analogy with evidence-based medicine, different approaches to campaigning for health promotion can be compared by obtaining evidence of effectiveness. However, evaluating the effectiveness of campaigning approaches is far more difficult than evaluating drugs or medical procedures, because controls are seldom possible, endpoints are difficult to specify, multiple factors influence outcomes, and the targets of campaigns are people or organizations that may resist. Methods Ten ideal campaigning types are proposed: positive and negative approaches to the five categories of information, attitude, arguments, authorities and incentives. To illustrate the ideal types and the complexities of evaluating approaches to campaigning, three contrasting Australian strategies to promote vaccination are examined. Results Each of the three vaccination-promotion strategies showed the presence of several ideal campaigning types, but with distinct differences in emphasis. With available evidence, it is difficult to assess the relative effectiveness of the three strategies. Conclusion Because of the difficulty in obtaining evidence, claims about the effectiveness of general approaches to health promotion should be treated with scepticism, especially when presented by partisans. There are inherent difficulties in making campaigning evidence-based.
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