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Public Health Communication

Quote of the Week

Antonio Lambino's picture

"There are three complementary models of behavior change implicit in many public health communication campaigns.  The individual effects model focuses on individuals as they improve their knowledge and attitudes and assumes that individual exposure to messages affects individual behavior.  The social diffusion model focuses on the process of change among social groups.  The institutional diffusion model focuses on the change in elite opinion, which is translated into institutional behavior, including policy changes, which in turn affect individual behavior. The models contrast the direct effects of seeing mass media materials... with the indirect effects of the social diffusion model, (wherein) discussion within a social network is stimulated by PSAs (public service announcements) or media coverage of an issue; that discussion may produce changed social norms about appropriate behavior, and affect the likelihood that each member of the social network will adopt the new behavior.  In the institutional diffusion model, media coverage of an issue may operate through either one or both of two mechanisms.  Media coverage may affect public norms that affect institutional behavior or policymaker actions, or media coverage may lead policymakers to think an issue an issue is important and requires action, regardless of whether public norms have actually changed."

- Prof. Robert C. Hornik (2002, pp.14-15)
Public Health Communication: Evidence for Behavior Change

Quote of the Week

Antonio Lambino's picture

"There are many approaches to evaluating public health communication programs, all of them struggling to resolve the tension between making strong inferences and making sure that an intervention has gotten a fair test.  There will always be some way to question the inferences made or the generality of the results to other contexts.  That does not take away from the legitimacy of the evaluations.  The fair question for them is whether they have gone reasonably down the path toward reducing uncertainty.  A valuable study is one that can usefully inform the policy community about whether the intervention approach is worthy of support, without promising that there is no risk of a mistake.  A study is valuable if future judgments about programs are better made taking this information into account than remaining ignorant of it."

- Prof. Robert C. Hornik (2002, p. 405)
Public Health Communication: Evidence for Behavior Change