142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Keep Calm and LARC On: Formative audience research to design a theory-based long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) access campaign

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 12:48 PM - 1:06 PM

Beth Sundstrom, Ph.D., M.P.H. , Department of Communication, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
Deborah Billings, PhD , South Carolina Contraceptive Access Campaign, Advocates for Youth, Columbia, SC
Lottie McClorin, MPH , South Carolina Contraceptive Access Campaign, Advocates for Youth, Columbia, SC
India Walters, MPH , South Carolina Contraceptive Access Campaign, Advocates for Youth, Columbia, SC
In South Carolina, 56% of all pregnancies are unintended and almost one half of pregnancies among women in their twenties are unintended. Advocates for Youth partnered with researchers and students at a public university to design and pilot a new theory-based communication campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness, increase knowledge and improve access to long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods among young women. Through this innovative academic/community partnership, researchers conducted formative audience research, including a qualitative content analysis of popular U.S. magazines’ coverage of LARC methods (83 articles) and three focus groups (n = 19) to assess knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to LARC methods among young women, ages 19 - 22. The health belief model and the diffusion of innovations theory served as conceptual frameworks throughout data collection, data analysis and campaign development. Participants favored the effectiveness of LARC methods, including the intrauterine device (IUD) and implant, while reacting negatively to a “foreign object” in their bodies. Findings suggest that physicians lack knowledge about LARC and resist prescribing these methods. Social media emerged as a particularly appropriate platform to reach this target audience. These findings were used by students and researchers to develop campaign strategies, communication channels and messages, including “I <3 My LARC” and “Keep Calm and LARC On.” While implementation and evaluation of the pilot campaign is currently on going, this study offers practical suggestions to campaign planners to conduct formative research, segment target audiences, and develop theory-based campaign strategies and messages.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe campaign strategies and messages from the development a health communication campaign. Design formative audience research to segment target audiences and develop a theory-based health communication campaign.

Keyword(s): Contraception, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As an Assistant Professor of Strategic Health Communication, I have been the principal investigator of multiple published articles on women's reproductive health, including contraceptive use dynamics, and health communication campaigns.
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.