Use of mass media campaigns to change health behaviour

Prof Melanie A Wakefield, Prof Barbara Loken, Prof Robert C Hornik
2010 and earlier

As a systematic and rigorous analysis, this Lancet paper provides perspective on the issue of consumer demand creation by systematically reviewing the evidence on the effectiveness of mass media campaigns on health-seeking behaviors. While it does not focus on public private engagement, it does offer solid evidence and learning on behavioral change initiatives that have strong relevance to all sectors. By assessing various health-risk behaviors (use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, heart disease risk factors, sex-related behaviors, road safety, cancer screening and prevention, child survival, and organ or blood donation), it concludes that mass media campaigns can produce positive changes or prevent negative changes in health-related behaviors across large populations. The evidence assesses factors contributing to these outcomes, in turn pointing to lessons for policy, implementation, and funding for scale. It also looks into the availability of services and products, which in some cases are privately determined.

This resource has been peer reviewed