132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

Germs as a health communication campaign

Brandon Henson Dart, Audrey Michelle El-Gamil, Jane Elizabeth Garofalo, Andrew Michael Moore, Farideh Sadeghin, and Ari Limor. Department of Communication, University of Maryland, College Park, 2130 Skinner Building, College Park, MD 20742, 301-405-7227, dartmax@excite.com

Germs flourish in communal, collegiate environments where their spread is quick and efficient (Keegan, 2003). Germs are detrimental to the health of collegiate populations; therefore, there is a logical need to develop a health campaign to prevent the pervasive spread of germs within this environment. Using both Extended Parallel Process Model (Witte, 1992) and Elaboration Likelihood Model (Petty & Cacioppo, 1981) as theoretical frameworks, the purpose of this research is to design, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of a health communication campaign which attempts to: (1) educate undergraduate students living in dorms regarding the health hazards of germs; (2) increase undergraduate students’ awareness of the correlation between adopting healthy germ prevention habits and a decrease in illness; and (3) motivate students to apply germ prevention knowledge to positively change their behaviors, in order to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Specifically, we seek to answer the research question, “Does exposure to a health campaign relating to germs increase preventative attitudes and behaviors for students living in residence halls?” To answer this research question, we will implement a pre-test/posttest quasi-experimental design. Key measures include students’ awareness of the relationship between germs and illness, perceived threat, perceived susceptibility, and students’ ability and motivation to perform germ reducing behaviors. This presentation will include a discussion of the theoretical framework that guided the campaign, the methodology, and the research results. There will be an overall discussion of the effectiveness of the health communication campaign and the implication of study results for future campaign development.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation the audience should be able to

Keywords: Public Health Research, Health Communications

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Innovations in Teaching, Researching, and Applying Health Communication

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA