186667 Diffusion of mass media messages and their influence on behavior change: Changing diabetes and hypertension screening among African Americans

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 1:30 PM

Connie Kohler, DrPH , Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Julie Suzuki-Crumly, MS , School of Public Health, University of Alabama Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
BodyLove (BL) is a radio serial drama designed to model behaviors and their consequences related to diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Storylines demonstrate characters struggling with risk factors such as diet, physical activity and smoking and depict both the negative consequences of unhealthy behavior and the positive consequences of healthy behavior. In addition, characters model strategies for change that are intended to increase listeners' perceived self efficacy for doing the same. Eighty weekly episodes of BL were broadcast in several Alabama communities in 2004-2007.

Listeners were surveyed prior to initial program broadcast and over four follow-up waves, approximately every five months. For this study, data were analyzed from those who responded at baseline and all four follow up time points (n=78). Participants were categorized as non listeners, seldom listeners (SLs), and frequent listeners (FLs). Data were analyzed by listener type at each wave.

Waves 2 and 4 demonstrated the most impact. Compared to SLs, FLs were more likely to report that BL had influenced them to discuss diabetes and get screened for diabetes at both waves 2 and 4. Additionally, Wave 4 FLs were more likely to get screened for hypertension.

Mass media based interventions often rely on person-to-person dissemination of messages. The BL radio serial drama appears to influence both discussion of topics and perceived influence on behavior. FLs of the program appear to have been impacted more than to SLs, supporting the relationship between listening and behavior change. Implications for future application and generalizability will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate an innovative health communication campaign 2. Describe the health changes made among participants in the health communication campaign

Keywords: Health Communications, Media Campaigns

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I planned, developed, implemented, and evaluated the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.