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Communication campaigns to change health-related lifestyles.

Authors
  • Rogers, E M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Hygie
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1992
Volume
11
Issue
2 Suppl
Pages
29–35
Identifiers
PMID: 1618514
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The North Karelia Project in Finland and the Stanford Heart Disease Prevention Program in California are 2 communication campaign examples for achieving health-related life styles. In 1972, health workers began a heart disease risk reduction program in North Karelia which had the highest levels of cardiovascular disease in Finland which in turn had the highest rate in the world as a pilot project to test the feasibility of involving the local community. In 1971, the Stanford Heart Disease Program began in 3 communities and had spread to 5 more around 1978. Communication strategies aim to diffuse preventive health innovations to a relatively large group of people within a specific time period using an organized set of communication activities. Prevention campaigns incorporate strategies from social learning, social marketing, and entertainment-education for mass communication. Social marketing strategies involve at least audience segmentation and use of symbols or logos, e.g., the Stanford Program used red hearts as its logo. Social learning revolves around the theory that people learn from both positive and negative roll models. In 1978, the North Karelia Project had a TV smoking cessation campaign with 10 people representing various target groups including a middle-aged man and a young woman. Evaluation research is also used to provide feedback to the project which allows the project to move on effectively. The main goal of diffusion prevention health innovations is to reach critical mass: the point where the innovation diffuses in a self-sustaining manner. The diffusion begins rather slowly then about the time 15-25% of the target audience adopts the innovation, the adoption rate grows quickly. In North Karelia, after 20 years, people eat a low fat and low cholesterol diet. In both California and Finland, there has been considerable reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.

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