Effectiveness of Mass Media Health Campaigns Second International Symposium on the Effectiveness of Health Promotion University of Toronto May 28, 2001 Vicki S. Freimuth, Ph.D. Association Director for Communication Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Definition of Mass Media Health Campaign These campaigns… • generate specific outcomes • large number of individuals • specific period of time • through an organized set of communication activities Rogers and Storey (1987)
Purpose of Presentation Overview of effectiveness research Three issues for discussion • Standards of evidence • Measurement challenges • Resource discussions
Historical Eras of Effects • 1940’s & 50’s Minimal effects • 1960’s & 70’s Campaigns can succeed • 1980’s & 90’s Moderate effects • 2000 - Stronger effects ??
Review of Effects Between 1980 - 1997 • Identified all quantitative evaluations of US campaigns • Divided into objectives of campaign, i.e., awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and behavior • Calculated an average size of change reported
Results Average Changes Achieved after Mass-Mediated Health Campaigns • Awareness (N=16) 56% • Knowledge change (N=15) 22% • Attitude change (N=21) 8% • Behavior change (N=29) 13%
Critical Evaluation Issues Standards of evidence • CDC, SAMSA, USAID • Gold standard – randomized control group • Contrast Stanford Five Community with National High Blood Pressure Program • Need new designs, e.g., natural experiments, correlated time series.
Measurement Issues • Where along chain of outcomes to measure? • Unit of measurement • Cost-effectiveness • Reliance on self-report data
Resources for evaluation • Must every campaign be evaluated? • How much money to spend on evaluation? • How to divide resources among formative, process, and summative evaluation.
Conclusion • Mass media can be effective tool – national or local • Select evaluation designs appropriate for the conceptual model of the campaign