202523 Mobile media and public health: An evaluation of Personal Public Service Announcements to promote HIV testing

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:30 PM

John Parmer, MPP , College of Public Health, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Vicki Freimuth, PhD , Department of Speech Communication and Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Scott Shamp, PhD , New Media Institute, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
The use of mobile media to reach target populations and deliver health messages is an exciting new area of research in public health. Mobile phones are increasingly becoming powerful personalized computers that are capable of much more than voice communication. By increasing interaction and engagement, mobile phones can build upon traditional interventions and offer new ways of reaching target populations and influencing health behaviors. As the use of mobile phones has become widespread in the United States, public health professionals have begun to explore the potential for such media to increase the impact of health messages and interventions.

Encouraging the public to get tested for HIV has been a priority of public health campaigns for decades. HIV testing has been promoted as an important step in detecting, treating and preventing HIV infection. Recently, a group of AIDS researchers, CDC professionals, students, professional producers, and volunteers from several AIDS organizations, came together to create user-generated videos to be distributed to cell phones encouraging young people to be tested for HIV.

This presentation highlights findings from an evaluation of these videos among a target audience of high-risk 18-26 year olds. Participants are shown the 20-second videos on a cell phone and asked if they communicate their main message, are attention-getting, and elicit positive reactions. In addition to pre-testing these videos, this study also explores the likelihood of viral distribution of these videos. Participants are asked about their willingness to send the videos to their friends and the factors that influence their decision.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe responses to video in terms of how attention-getting the message is, the communication of the main message, and whether it elicited a positive or negative reaction. 2.Identify factors that encourage or inhibit participants forwarding the video messages to friends and family.

Keywords: Health Communications, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have taken many courses in health behavior and health communication. I have been involved throughout the project I am presenting assisting with item development, basic HIV epidemiology and technological issues surrounding the use of videos and mobile phones.
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.