C-CHANGE
C-Channel:
Issue 26 | JANUARY 2011
background gradient

Health communication and mass media campaigns

Of Interest…

It Begins with YOU is an Africa-wide campaign to combat HIV by the African Broadcast Media Partnership (ABMP). This pan-African coalition of 64 companies is producing radio and TV programs that promote services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). C-Change guided development of programming manuals that assist broadcasters with PMTCT information, partner support, stigma, and traditional attitudes to child bearing. View the PSAs and guides on C-Hub.

C-Channel 26 presents seven articles on health communication and mass media campaigns to change behaviors. The first reviews a range of health campaigns and factors that contributed to their success. The second discusses authenticity and dialogue as key components of behavior change campaigns. The third assesses how a theoretical framework connects to the outcome of a multimedia campaign. The next two articles examine HIV-related media campaigns in Nigeria and China. The last two, respectively, assess the quality of print articles about male circumcision and the quantity of information on HIV and AIDS on the internet by country.

C-Change assisted the Division of Reproductive Health of Kenya’s Ministry of Health with the Plan for Yourself a Good Life mass media campaign, which promotes informed choice on use of modern contraceptives and child spacing. Materials for radio, print, and billboards target peri-urban and rural men and women ages 25-35 in areas with low contraceptive prevalence. Download materials from C-Hub.

 

In this issue

Mass Media Campaigns: Theory and Practice

1. Overview of media campaigns to change health behavior

2. Authenticity in health communication
FREE FULL TEXT

3. Theory and practice of a campaign to increase parent-child communication about sex
FREE FULL TEXT

Outcomes of Media Campaigns

4. Outcome of media campaigns to reduce HIV stigma in Nigeria

5. Influence of mass media on HIV knowledge in China
FREE FULL TEXT

6. Quality of print reporting on male circumcision
FREE FULL TEXT

7. Assessment of the quantity of HIV/AIDS-related media on the internet


Mass Media Campaigns: Theory and Practice

1. Use of mass media campaigns to change health behavior

Authors: Wakefield MA a; Loken B b; Hornik RC c
Institutions: a Cancer Council Victoria, Australia; b University of Minnesota, USA; c University of Pennsylvania, USA
Source: The Lancet, 9 Oct 2010; 376(9748): 1261-71.

ABSTRACT

Mass media campaigns are widely used to expose high proportions of large populations to messages through routine uses of existing media, such as television, radio, and newspapers. Exposure to such messages is, therefore, generally passive. Such campaigns are frequently competing with factors, such as pervasive product marketing, powerful social norms, and behaviours driven by addiction or habit. In this Review we discuss the outcomes of mass media campaigns in the context of various health-risk behaviours (eg, use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, heart disease risk factors, sex-related behaviours, road safety, cancer screening and prevention, child survival, and organ or blood donation). We conclude that mass media campaigns can produce positive changes or prevent negative changes in health-related behaviours across large populations. We assess what contributes to these outcomes, such as concurrent availability of required services and products, availability of community-based programmes, and policies that support behaviour change. Finally, we propose areas for improvement, such as investment in longer better-funded campaigns to achieve adequate population exposure to media messages.

To link to the website to purchase the full text of this article, please click here. Access the journal website here.

Return To Top

2. The importance of being authentic: Persuasion, narration, and dialogue in health communication and education

Author: Petraglia J
Institution: Global Health Communication, USA
Source: Health Communication, Mar 2009; 24(2): 176-85.

ABSTRACT

A topic gaining attention in the field of education has been that of "authenticity"-the creation of learning environments that provide learners with richer and more realistic contexts in which to apply knowledge and practice skills. The subject of authenticity has yet to attract much attention in the field of public health and specifically in health communication and education, although these fields have long experience with the problem of getting audiences to translate knowledge into action. This article reviews the rationale for an interest in authenticity as it relates to health communication and education and notes that "authenticity" does not inhere in information but is an appraisal made by a member of the public who is persuaded to view the information as especially relevant to his or her health behavior and consonant with his or her prior experiences. This article argues that a public health communicator or educator can encourage such appraisals by using narrative formats that provide rich contextualization. But contextualizing behavior change information in the form of stories is not enough; there is a dialogic dimension to persuasion that aids in the process of authentication. Creating opportunities for dialogue between behavior change narratives and their audiences has its own challenges, but nonetheless deserves to be a priority in public health.

To access the FREE full text of this article, please click here. Access the journal website here.

Return To Top

3. Impact of a parent-child sexual communication campaign: Results from a controlled efficacy trial of parents

Authors: Davis KC 1; Blitstein JL 1; Evans WD 2; Kamyab K 1
Institutions: 1 RTI International, USA; 2 George Washington University, USA
Source: Reproductive Health, 21 Jul 2010; 7:17. [Open Access]

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: 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.
METHODS: 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.
RESULTS: 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.
CONCLUSIONS: 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.

To access the FREE full text of this article, please click here. Access the journal website here.

Return To Top

Outcomes of Media Campaigns

4. Media saturation, communication exposure and HIV stigma in Nigeria

Authors: Babalola S a; Fatusi A b; Anyanti J c
Institutions: a Johns Hopkins University, USA; b Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; c Society for Family Health, Nigeria
Source: Social Science & Medicine, Apr 2009; 68(8): 1513-20. [Epub before print]

ABSTRACT

HIV-related stigma constitutes an impediment to public health as it hampers HIV/AIDS control efforts in many ways. To address the complex problems of increasing HIV infection rate, widespread misinformation about the infection and the rising level of HIV-related stigma, the various tiers of government in Nigeria are working with local and international non-governmental organizations to develop and implement strategic communication programs. This paper assesses the link between these communication efforts and HIV-related stigma using data from a nationally representative household survey. The results show that accepting attitudes towards people living with HIV are more prevalent among men than among women. Exposure to HIV-related communication on the media is associated with increased knowledge about HIV, which is in turn a strong predictor of accepting attitudes. Communication exposure also has a significant and positive association with accepting attitudes towards people living with HIV. In contrast, community media saturation is not strongly linked with accepting attitudes for either sex. The findings strongly suggest that media-based HIV programs constitute an effective strategy to combat HIV/AIDS-related stigma and should therefore be intensified in Nigeria.

To link to the website to purchase the full text of this article, please click here. Access the journal website here.

Return To Top

5. Mass media and HIV/AIDS in China

Authors: Li L 1; Rotheram-Borus MJ 1; Lu Y 1; Wu Z 2; Lin C 3,1; Guan J 3,1
Institutions: 1 University of California at Los Angeles, USA; 2 Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, China; 3 Fujian Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China
Source: Journal of Health Communication, Jul-Aug 2009; 14(5): 424-38. [PubMed Central]

ABSTRACT

Exposure to mass media related to HIV/AIDS has been linked to attitudinal and behavioral changes. This study aims to identify the source(s) of HIV information for the general Chinese population and examine their association with HIV transmission knowledge and stigmatizing attitude toward people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). A total of 3,716 market workers in Fuzhou, China, participated in a face-to-face survey. Multiple regression models were used to describe correlations among respondents' HIV/STD information sources, HIV transmission knowledge, and stigmatizing attitude toward PLWHA. Mass media sources, such as television programs, newspapers, and magazines, were more frequently identified as the channels for HIV information than interpersonal sources, such as friends and service providers. Exposure to multiple sources of HIV information (where at least one source is mass media) was significantly related to HIV knowledge and less stigmatizing attitude toward PLWHA. Mass media in China has been a major source of HIV information to the public. Enhancing the content and penetration of HIV/AIDS campaigns within various channels of the media can be an important strategy in disseminating HIV knowledge and reducing HIV-related discrimination.

To access the FREE full text of this article, please click here. Access the journal website here.

Return To Top

6. Print media reporting of male circumcision for preventing HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa

Authors: Wang AL a; Duke W b; Schmid GP b
Institutions: a The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, USA; b World Health Organization, Switzerland
Source: Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Aug 2009; 87(8): 595-603. [Open Access]

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To review the types, content and accuracy of print media reports on male circumcision for preventing HIV infection among men in sub-Saharan Africa.
METHODS: We conducted a trilingual search (English, French, Portuguese) of LexisNexis(R) with the phrase 'male circumcision' for the period from 28 March 2007 to 30 June 2008. The articles identified were screened for the central theme of male circumcision for preventing HIV infection in men in sub-Saharan Africa and for publication types targeting lay audiences - newspapers, magazines, newswires or newsletters. We judged the accuracy of the reports and determined the context, public perceptions, misconceptions and areas of missing information in the print media. We also explored whether the media could be better used to maximize the impact of male circumcision.
FINDINGS: We identified 412 articles, of which 219 were unique and 193 were repeats. 'Peaks and valleys' occurred in the volume of articles over time. Most articles (56.0%) presented male circumcision for the prevention of HIV infection in a positive light. Those that portrayed it negatively had an overall repeat rate 2.9 times higher than positive articles. Public health messages formulated by international health agencies were few but generally accurate.
CONCLUSION: The accuracy of the reports was good, although the articles were few and frequently omitted important messages. This suggests that public health authorities must help the media understand important issues. A communication strategy to sequence important themes as male circumcision programmes are scaled up would allow strategic coverage of accurate messages over time.

To access the FREE full text of this article, please click here. Access the journal website here.

Return To Top

7. An assessment of global Internet-based HIV/AIDS media coverage: Implications for United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS' Global Media HIV/AIDS initiative

Authors: Anema A 1,2; Freifeld CC 3,4; Druyts E 1; Montaner JS 1,2; Hogg RS 1,5; Brownstein JS 3,4
Institutions: 1 St. Paul's Hospital, Canada; 2 University of British Columbia, Canada; 3 Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, USA; 4 Harvard Medical School, USA; 5 Simon Fraser University, Canada
Source: International Journal of STD & AIDS, Jan 2010; 21(1): 26-9. [Epub before print]

ABSTRACT

No studies to date have assessed the quantity of HIV/AIDS-related media on the Internet. We assessed the quantity of language-specific HIV/AIDS Internet-based news coverage, and the correlation between country-specific HIV/AIDS news coverage and HIV/AIDS prevalence. Internet-based HIV/AIDS news articles were queried from Google News Archives for 168 countries, for the year 2007, in the nine most commonly spoken languages worldwide. English, French and Spanish sources had the greatest number of HIV/AIDS-related articles, representing 134,000 (0.70%), 11,200 (0.65%) and 24,300 (0.49%) of all news articles, respectively. A strong association between country-specific HIV/AIDS news coverage and HIV/AIDS prevalence was found, Spearman's rank correlation: 0.6 (P < 0.001). Among countries with elevated HIV/AIDS prevalence (> or =10%), the volume of HIV/AIDS-specific media was highest in Swaziland (15.9%) and Malawi (13.2%), and lowest in South Africa (4.8%) and Namibia (4.9%). Increased media attention should be placed on countries with high HIV/AIDS prevalence and limited HIV/AIDS-specific news coverage.

To link to the website to purchase the full text of this article, please click here. Access the journal website here.

Return To Top


USAIDC-CHANGEFHi 360 Satellife Center for Health Information and Technology


This publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of Agreement No. GPO-A-00-07-00004-00. The contents are the responsibility of C-Change, and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

To contact us, please send an email to c-channel@healthnet.org.
Additional information about the project is available at the website
www.c-changeprogram.org/