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Evaluating mass media approaches to health promotion: a review of methods

Kaye Wellings (Kaye Wellings is Senior Lecturer at the Sexual Health Programme, Health Promotion Research Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.)
Wendy Macdowall (Wendy Macdowall is Research Fellow, at the Sexual Health Programme, Health Promotion Research Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 1 February 2000

Abstract

Broad spectrum approaches to health promotion, using mass media techniques to reach the general population, have potential value in raising the profile of health issues, providing legitimacy to efforts at community level and providing the impetus for other activities. Their cost‐effectiveness, however, is difficult to assess and has been questioned by some. This paper makes the case for a systematic approach to the evaluation of mass media health promotional interventions. Formative evaluation is needed to ensure the optimally effective design of such interventions, followed by process evaluation to identify factors which have enhanced or hindered implementation, followed by outcome evaluation, to assess the extent to which desired effects have been achieved, and adverse effects avoided. An eclectic approach to outcome evaluation is recommended including the use of experimental approaches wherever possible, but also ensuring that non‐experimental methods are rigorous and comprehensive. This review is aimed at practitioners using mass media interventions in health promotion as well as students of health promotion and its evaluation.

Keywords

Citation

Wellings, K. and Macdowall, W. (2000), "Evaluating mass media approaches to health promotion: a review of methods", Health Education, Vol. 100 No. 1, pp. 23-32. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654280010309021

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

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