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The limited existing research on the asthma perceptions of older adults suggests that this population perceives asthma to be a childhood disease and, therefore, believe that they are not susceptible to developing the condition as an adult. The asthma mortality rate is much higher for older adults than for children, and there is considerable negative impact on health-related quality of life. However, health promotion regarding asthma is rarely aimed at this population. To address this issue, social marketing campaign messages and materials about asthma were developed for an older adult population based on quantitative survey data. Through a series of community focus groups, these messages and materials were pretested with older adults to establish the types of asthma health promotion messages, taglines, and images that engage this target audience. Materials that conveyed a “human element” appealed most to older adults, enabling them to relate to the individuals and situations depicted in the images. Positive, empowering messages containing novel information and asking questions of the target population resonated best with older adults. These features should be considered in the development of health promotion campaign materials about chronic disease targeting older adult populations.


Centre for Health and Social Research

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Journal Article

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