198318 Healthy Holidays: Lessons learned from a health communication community event

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 1:00 PM

John Baird, MSc , Department of Mathematics, Columbia University Teachers College, Austin, TX
We investigated a means of increasing community awareness, information, and knowledge of healthy behaviors during the 2008 holiday season using picturevoice, individually generated documentary art. Healthy Holidays collected tips about ways to stay healthy during the holiday season from students of public health. Sequential art templates were selected for individuals to fill out in a picturevoice activity. A display was setup at the Squirrel Hill Carnegie Library on three separate days (December 16th, 18th, 20th). Patrons were given a tip chosen at random and asked to use the templates to create art related to the tip in exchange for a holiday treat. 79 people took part in the activity, producing 97 pieces of art that were consistently relevant to the associated tip. The activity proved most popular among children (ages 4-12), their parents, and teenagers (13-17). Adult males, single females, and the elderly were unlikely to participate. The reasons most cited for refusal were lack of time and disinterest in the incentive. The display succeeded in attracting attention and the tips effectively provided information to participants. The mechanism of adapting the information to sequential art encouraged synthesis. Food proved an attractive compensation for several age groups, but unsuccessful with lone adults. Alternate incentives like gift certificates might serve to broaden appeal. Simple and effective means of communicating healthy behaviors is a critical area of development in light of recent budget restrictions. Healthy Holidays demonstrates one such approach while providing guidelines for improvement in future awareness efforts.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, the participant will be able to describe a cost-effective means of community outreach. This study demonstrates how to communicate healthy behaviors to the public utilizing the picturevoice method.

Keywords: Communication, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal lead on this project, responsible for organizing, implementing, and analyzing the results.
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.