242962 Personal Floatation Devices: A Community Based Prevention Marketing Approach to Increase Wear Rates

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mary Martinasek, MPH, CHES, CPH , Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Moya Alfonso, MSPH, PhD , Jiann Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
James Lindenberger , Center for Social Marketing, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Justin McBride , Marine Program, Florida's Division of Natural Resources, Fort Myers, FL
Joy Hazell , Lee County, Florida Sea Grant, Fort Myers, FL
Background Florida has been among the top five states reporting the most boating accidents over the past several years. In these accidents, personal floatation devices (PFDs) were not worn by most of the victims. Recognizing the need for greater voluntary PFD use and a need for a consumer oriented approach to better understanding how to encourage this behavior, community based social marketing was employed. Methods: A mixed methods research approach was used among boaters in Florida. Qualitative methods included observations of over 4000 boaters to determine PFD use, 30 intercept interviews at boating ramps, and 20 in-depth interviews. This data helped to inform an online panel survey of 300 resident boaters.

Results: Survey results indicated that most respondents felt that everyone who boats was at greater risk for injury, children were at risk, and those individuals who cannot swim were also at greater risk from not wearing a PFD. Bad weather and rough water were also factors in determining PFD use, along with the type of boat (open motorboats, jet skis, dingy, and small boats). Unlike the observational study, where more women were seen wearing PFDs, the panel survey demonstrated that males were more likely to wear a PFD than females. This is a positive finding since the majority of boaters tend to be males.

Conclusion: Community partnerships are paramount to sustainability in social marketing campaigns. Utilizing a consumer-based approach with community partnerships, social marketing campaigns can be developed and promote behavior change.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To describe how formative research helped to discern the target population for increasing wear rates of personal floatation devices. To discuss the outcomes of the formative research that can be used for a social marketing campaign. To discuss the importance of community partnerships.

Keywords: Safety, Water

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the current PI on the study
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.