223344 From research to practice: Developing a marketing program to promote balance classes for older adults

Monday, November 8, 2010

Carolyn DiGuiseppi, MD, MPH, PhD , Department of Epidemiology & Community and Behavioral Health; Colorado Injury Control Research Center, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
Lauren Clark, RN, PhD , College of Nursing, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Sallie Thoreson, MS , Prevention Services Division, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Grand Junction, CO
Cynthia Goss, MA , Department of Epidemiology; Colorado Injury Control Research Center, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Lorena Zimmer , Private Consultant, Golden, CO
Mark Marosits, MSHA , Worldways Social Marketing, Greenwood Village, CO
Background. Community-based balance retraining classes are proven to prevent older adult falls, but uptake is limited. Social marketing -- using marketing principles to motivate the voluntary behavior of target audiences for a societal benefit -- is a promising approach to promote balance class participation. Objective. Develop a research-based social marketing program to promote balance classes to older adults in churches. Methods. A target audience matrix was developed from survey data. Emergent themes and content framed by marketing principles (i.e., program, place, price, promotion) were identified from initial qualitative research and used to create a marketing blueprint. Two creative concepts were developed and tested with church leaders and elderly congregants. The preferred concept was revised and a ‘toolkit' of messages and materials created. The final marketing program was mapped back to research results to assess responsiveness. Results. The marketing program fully addressed three themes--emphasizing increased independence and de-emphasizing exercise and fall prevention, moving older adults out of their “comfort zones,” and relationships that initiate and sustain participation--and to a lesser degree, the fourth theme (gender-based differences in fall prevention approaches). The program also attended to program, place, price, and promotion based on information from qualitative research. The development process and resulting program will be described. Conclusions. The likelihood of successful church-based fall prevention programming for community-dwelling older adults can be increased through application of qualitative findings in intervention planning and delivery. The marketing program is currently being evaluated in the context of a randomized trial.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1) List perceptions about older adults and fall prevention, and barriers and levers to participation in balance classes, expressed by community stakeholders and older adults. 2) Apply an evidence-based approach to development of a social marketing program designed to motivate older adult church-members to attend balance classes. 3) Identify a range of messages, approaches, and communication channels for marketing a health promotion intervention to older adults through churches.

Keywords: Injury Prevention, Exercise

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an experienced investigator who participated in concept development and analysis and interpretation of data for this 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.