One size fits all: communicating the unknown in health promotion

Pedruzzi, R., Swinbourne, A., and Quirk, F. (2012) One size fits all: communicating the unknown in health promotion. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 19 (Supp 1). P681. S273-S274.

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Abstract

Recently, there has been a call for an integrated conceptual model to better understand the communication of health information to patients and consumers (Longo, 2005). Of particular interest to the current research project is the identification of factors that influence attention to health information in order to develop innovative methods for communicating such information. In practise, health promotion campaigns tend to exist under a one size fits all framework. That is, most public health campaigns highlight the negative effects of engaging in risky behaviours. An examination of this method with 303 community participants revealed attention to health risk information differed across two health threats. Participants were randomly assigned to receive information about heart health or road behaviours. Participants in the heart health condition remembered significantly more risk information than participants in the road behaviours condition (t (292)= -4.35, p= .00). In interpreting these findings it is hypothesised that there is an unknown component inherent to some health threats that impacts on attention to risk information. These unknown components are perceived to be outside of personal control hence attention to information may be redundant. For example, risk on the road is also a function of other people’s behaviour which an individual cannot control. Research is now exploring this idea by examining perceptions of controllability across a number of health threats. It appears that health promotion campaigns should not operate on a one size fits all approach if increased attention to preventative information is the desired outcome.

Item ID: 24864
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1532-7558
Keywords: health behaviours, health communication, health promotion
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2013 23:55
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 100%
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