Friday, 15 May 2015

HEALTHY LIVING - Methods of health promotion


The phrase “media campaigns” refers to various forms of media, which are used to communicate and interact with a range of audiences. Health media campaigns can be on various health behaviours, including sexual health and drug use. The health belief model, links in here (remember cues to action), media campaigns work to act as these cues.

Cowpe - Chip pan fire prevention

Aim: To test the effectiveness of an advertisement campaign which encouraged preventative action on chip pan fires.

Methodology: A quasi-experiment where a media campaign was shown in 2 regional television areas (Nottingham and Manchester). An analysis of the number of chip pan fires reported was collected, plus a survey was completed by participants who watched the advert.

Participants: People living in the television areas.

Procedure: The campaigns shown on TV. There were 2, 60 second commercials. These showed the initial cause of the fire and the actions required to put it out. Each region was shown the campaign. The number of reported chip pan fires was analysed for each area.

The decline in reports of chip pan fires was 7% for the Nottingham area and 25 % in the Manchester area. (The northerners love a chippy!)

The largest reduction of reported chip pan fires was during the campaign.

Interestingly, if an area received more than one TV channel i.e. Manchester and Nottingham 'overlap' areas, there was less influence on reducing reports of chip pan fires. This was probably because the impact of the campaign was reduced from seeing too much.

From the questionnaires it was found that people mentioning chip pan fires as a danger in the kitchen also increased to 28%

Conclusion: The advertisement was shown to be effective by the clear reduction in chip pan fires. The behaviour change is most seen during the campaign and reduces as the time passes after the campaign. Therefore, it is clear to see that the longitudinal effects of media campaigns is questionable.


Legislation refers to law making processes, and this is a method of health promotion as laws can be implemented to change health behaviours, by promoting and enforcing positive health behaviours, whilst banning unhealthy behaviours. Certain behaviours that have been made illegal are smoking in public places and smoking if under 18 (rather than 16), whilst behaviours that have been made compulsory in a legal manner include wearing a seatbelt.

Dannenberg - Bicycle helmet laws and educational campaigns 

Aim: To review the impact of compulsory laws for children to wear bicycle helmet.

Method: Natural experiment when laws were implemented in the USA, requiring children under the age of 16 year to wear a helmet when riding a bike.

Sample: Children from 47 schools in the USA and 2 control groups. In one of the control groups, there was already a campaign to promote bicycle safety. But in both control groups there were no helmet laws in place. Independent measures design.

Procedure: Questionnaires containing a 4 point rating scale were sent. The topics included bicycle use, helmet ownership and use, awareness of the law and peer pressure. Parents were asked to help their children complete the questionnaire.

Findings: In the group where the helmet law was enforced, helmet usage had more than doubled to 37.5%. The control group with the campaign and no law increased helmet use to around 12% and the control group with no campaign and no law only increased to around 11%.

Most children were aware of the law in the law enforced group, in this group 38% wore their helmets on their last ride.

Conclusion: Although many children did not routinely wear their helmet when cycling, the law on helmet use did show a large increase in the reported rate of wearing a helmet. We might conclude from this that enforcing a law was more effective than a campaign.


Fear arousal as a method of health promotion refers to using fear and intimidation (usually through strongly emotive media campaigns) to persuade people into doing (or avoiding) certain health-related behaviours. The basic underlying assumption is that if the negative consequences of an action are made clear to an individual, they will be more likely to do something to prevent it.


Janis and Feshbach - Effects of fear arousal 

Aim: Janis and Feshbeck conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the consequences on emotions and behaviour of fear appeals.

Sample: A 9th grade class at a US high school was used as the sample; mean age of 15 years.

Method: Laboratory experiment, which investigated how the strength of fear arousing material presented in a lecture affected the emotional and behavioural changes in dental practices.
An independent measures design was used, with four conditions: strong fear appeal, moderate fear appeal, minimal fear arousal, and the control group.
A questionnaire was used before the lecture and afterwards.

The strong fear arousal was generally received positively in terms of interest and necessity, but also had higher levels of dislike and unpleasantness. It showed an increase in positive dental hygiene of 8%.
The moderate group had 22% increase of dental hygiene
The minimal fear group showed 36% change.

Conclusions: The researchers concluded that fear appeals can be helpful in changing health behaviours, however it is necessary for the level of fear arousal to be appropriate for the appropriate target audience, and that (in teenagers) minimal fear is likely to be more successful.

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