Published on September 28, 2008
Mass Media in Health Promotion : Dr. Deryck D. Pattron 1 Mass Media in Health Promotion Dr. Deryck D. Pattron, Ph.D. Public Health & Safety Consultant Chaguanas, Trinidad, West Indies [email protected] Definitions : Dr. Deryck D. Pattron 2 Definitions Mass media-any written, printed, visual, electronic, auto-visual media developed to reach mass audience and the public. Mass communication-any form of communication with the public. Message-any information expressed in form of signs and symbols. Advertising-to express and promote ideas using individual contact and/or through the use of the mass media. Audience segmentation-division of a population into a more homogenous groups based on similarities in attitudes, beliefs and knowledge. This allows greater impact of the message. Role of Mass Media & Health Promotion : Dr. Deryck D. Pattron 3 Role of Mass Media & Health Promotion Raise public awareness about a particular problem or issue. Create a climate of opinion and provide food for thought a nurturing environment. Stress the ill-effects of unhealthy behaviour and the benefits of preventive behaviour. Application of Mass Media : Dr. Deryck D. Pattron 4 Application of Mass Media Planned campaigns and advertising. This has the advantage of targeting a wide target audience and may be tailored to meet specific objectives. Unpaid publicity and media advocacy. This may be low cost campaigns that may seem to provide greater credibility to the target audience. The 4 P’s of Health Promotion : Dr. Deryck D. Pattron 5 The 4 P’s of Health Promotion Product-the desired healthy behaviour. Price-the cost of adopting the desired healthy behaviour far exceeds any other costs. Life is worth living and fighting for. Place and time-the now and where ever you are approach, doing whatever you can where ever you are to improve health and well-being. Promotion-the expression and promotion of healthy behaviours through the adoption of healthy knowledge, attitudes and practices. The Reality of the Mass Media-“The Can Do” : Dr. Deryck D. Pattron 6 The Reality of the Mass Media-“The Can Do” Raise awareness, information and knowledge about health issues or problems. Provide advocacy and support that facilitates placing health issues on the agenda. Assist in changing behaviour when other enabling factors are present. The Reality of the Mass Media-“The Cannot Do” : Dr. Deryck D. Pattron 7 The Reality of the Mass Media-“The Cannot Do” Teach skills e.g. negotiate safer sex. Change behaviours in the absence of other enabling factors. Cause attitudinal changes if the new message challenges basic belief. Present complex information e.g. the relative risk of different types of fat in the diet. What Can Be Done To Make The Mass Media More Effective? : Dr. Deryck D. Pattron 8 What Can Be Done To Make The Mass Media More Effective? Integrative strategy-the use of several strategies to encourage healthy behavioural change. Use of emotional and psychological content in discussing health issues. Making health issues more relevant to the audience and to the social and cultural setting. Conclusions : Dr. Deryck D. Pattron 9 Conclusions The use of mass media in health promotion is widely used locally, regionally and internationally. The outcomes of such mass media campaigns are yet to be realized and to be proven as truly successful. The mass media is one of the main approaches used in health promotion and its apparent lack of success may be due to its oversimplification, segmented view of health and well-being. A more holistic approach should be adopted that takes into account the six dimensions of health; physical, mental, social, psychological, intellectual and environmental, placing these dimensions as major themes using the internet, radio, television, projectors, pamphlets, talks, cultural expressions, plays, role models, puppets, dances, other social interactions as major impetus for bringing about healthy behavioural change. References : Dr. Deryck D. Pattron 10 References Donovan, E.G. Spark, R. 1993. Health and media: principles and practices for health promotion. McGraw Hill, Sydney. Naidoo, J. Wills, J. 2000. Health Promotion: Foundations for Practice. Bailliere Tindall, Edinburgh. Tilford, T.K. 1994. Health education: effectiveness efficiency. Chapman & Hill, London.