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A simple methodology for piloting and evaluating mass media interventions: An exploratory study

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Publication details

JournalPsychology health & medicine
DatePublished - Mar 2010
Issue number2
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)231-242
Original languageEnglish


To develop effective mass media health campaigns it is important to explore the behaviour-change techniques that make campaigns more or less effective. This exploratory study observed the behaviour-change techniques employed in two current healthy eating television programmes, and mapped these techniques onto key theoretical frameworks. Interviews were then conducted with six participants who watched the programmes, to identify which techniques were perceived to be more and less effective and to identify any disjunctures between the behaviour-change techniques used in the programmes and factors perceived by the participants to be particularly influential upon their healthy eating. The two programmes were found to use similar behaviour-change techniques, with a heavy reliance on providing general health motivation. Interviews revealed that participants perceived several specific barriers to eating healthily, felt the need for more specific guidance and emphasised the importance of identifying with the role models used in the programmes. Recommendations for future mass media health campaigns include the need to educate individuals about how to overcome specific barriers that they might face when trying to eat a healthy diet and to include a wider range of role models to encourage the audience to identify with the programme participants.

    Research areas

  • mass-media, healthy eating, piloting, process evaluation, observation, qualitative, BEHAVIOR-CHANGE, OBESITY

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