230177 Availability of effective photographs for public health education materials: Public health practitioners' need for diversity

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mary K. Buller, MA , Klein Buendel, Inc., Golden, CO
Erwin Bettinghaus, PhD , Klein Buendel, Inc., Golden, CO
Xia Liu, MPH , Klein Buendel, Inc., Golden, CO
Public health practitioners educate people with diverse demographics and health conditions using brochures, posters, websites, and other media that incorporate visual imagery. An online survey was completed with public health professionals (n=151; 89% female, 83% white, 5% Hispanic/Latino, and between 24-68 years old) to ascertain their needs related to diversity of images available for print and electronic public health materials. Professionals report working with very diverse target populations (e.g., 80% worked with low income groups). A majority (68%) develop their own print and electronic educational materials and nearly all used photographs of people in their print (92%) and electronic (82%) materials. Practitioners strongly believe that matching photographs in educational materials to the target population makes their messages more effective, i.e., improves the messages' attractiveness (62%), ability to grab attention (68%), understandability (50%), relevance (61%), and persuasiveness (68%). Practitioners obtain photographs from outside graphic designers (82%), by taking their own photographs (64%) or by purchasing stock photographs (44%). However, many practitioners report that photographs are not readily available that match their target population on physical characteristics (46%), health conditions and disabilities (57%), common activities (55%) or settings where they work or live (60%). When available, photographs do not match the target population on these same features (47%, 55%, 53%, 56%, respectively). Practitioners expressed dissatisfaction with available photographs' demographic diversity (53%), health conditions and disabilities portrayed (59%), activities depicted (53%), and the settings (56%). There is a need to improve the availability and diversity of photographs to create effective health communication materials.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify gaps in the photographs currently available to public health practitioners. 2.Describe the need for a diverse set of photographs to create effective health education materials.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator on a project developing and evaluating diverse photographs for public health education materials and media. I have led several projects designed effective print and electronic helath education. I am the President of Klein Buendel, Inc.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Klein Buendel, Inc. Health Communication Employment (includes retainer), President and Stock Ownership

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.