Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Background: Asthma in older adults is underdiagnosed and poorly self-managed. This population has little knowledge about the key symptoms, the prevalence among older adults, and the serious consequences of untreated asthma. The purpose of this study was to undertake a multifaceted evaluation of a social marketing campaign to increase asthma awareness among older adults in a regional Australian community. Methods: A cohort of older adults in an intervention region ( n = 316 ) and a control region ( n = 394 ) were surveyed immediately prior to and following the social marketing campaign. Campaign awareness, message recall, materials recognition, and actions taken as a result of the campaign were assessed in both regions. Asthma knowledge and perceptions, experience of asthma symptoms, and general health were also assessed in both regions at baseline and follow-up. Analyses were conducted to explore the effects of the campaign in the intervention region, and to examine outcomes among different audience segments. Results: The survey data showed that those in the target segments ( Wheezers and Strugglers ) had better message recall, and were more likely to report having taken action to control their respiratory symptoms. The campaign significantly increased the number of calls to an asthma information line from the target audience in the intervention community. Conclusions: A theory-based social marketing campaign conducted over 3-months increased the asthma information seeking behaviours of older adults in the intervention community compared to the control community. Recommendations are outlined for future community health promotion campaigns targeting older adults.

School/Institute

Centre for Health and Social Research

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access

Notes

© 2013 Evers et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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