Skip to main content

The Effects of Priming on a Public Health Campaign Targeting Cardiovascular Risks

Abstract

Public health interventions are cost-effective methods to reduce heart disease. The present study investigated the impact of a low-cost priming technique on a public health campaign targeting cardiovascular risk. Participants were 415 individuals (66% female) ages 18 and older recruited through clinics and churches. The study consisted of three phases. In Phase I, participants completed a brief survey to assess knowledge of the cardiovascular health indicators. The survey served as the prime (intervention) for the study. At Phase II, participants were provided with access to a public health campaign consisting of an education brochure on cardiovascular health. Following the educational campaign, all participants completed a post-campaign survey in Phase III of the study. Participants who completed the surveys in both Phase I and III were placed in the intervention condition (26%) and those who only completed the Phase III survey were placed in the control condition (74%). Participants who were primed reported greater awareness of the public health campaign. Additionally, more intervention participants reported they had knowledge of their own and the normal ranges for cholesterol, glucose, and body mass index. For participants who were aware of the health promotion campaign, more participants in the primed group indicated they had knowledge of their own cholesterol and glucose levels and had made positive lifestyle changes as a result of the campaign. Results suggest the presence of a priming effect. Public health campaigns may benefit from the inclusion of a low-cost prime prior to intervention.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Alcalay, R. (1983). The impact of mass communication campaigns in the health field. Social Science & Medicine, 17, 87–94.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Barysch, M. J., Cozzio, A., Kolm, I., Hrdlicka, S. R., Brand, C., Hunger, R., et al. (2010). Internet based health promotion campaign against skin cancer—Results of www.skincheck.ch in Switzerland. European Journal of Dermatology, 20, 109–114.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Campbell, M. K., Hudson, M. A., Resnicow, K., Blakeney, N., Paxton, A., & Baskin, M. (2007). Church-based health promotion interventions: Evidence and lessons learned. Annual Review of Public Health, 28, 213–234.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). Heart disease risk factors. Retrieved August 14, 2010, from http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/risk_factors.htm, October 20.

  5. Cherry, D. K., Hing, E., Woodwell, D. A., & Rechtsteiner, E. A. (2008). National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2006 summary. National Health Statistics Reports, 3, 1–40.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Dalziel, K., & Segal, L. (2007). Time to give nutrition interventions a higher profile: Cost-effectiveness of 10 nutrition interventions. Health Promotion International, 22, 271–283.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Fishbein, M., & Yzer, M. C. (2003). Using theory to design effective health behavior interventions. Communication Theory, 13, 164–183.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Franzén, K., Johansson, J. E., Andersson, G., & Nilsson, K. (2008). Urinary incontinence: Evaluation of an information campaign directed towards the general public. Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology, 42, 534–538.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Gordon, R., McDermott, L., Stead, M., & Angus, K. (2006). The effectiveness of social marketing interventions for health improvement: What’s the evidence? Public Health, 120, 1133–1139.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Hall, S., Bishop, A. J., & Marteau, T. M. (2003). Increasing readiness to stop smoking in women undergoing cervical screening: Evaluation of two leaflets. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 5, 821–826.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Hersey, J. C., Niederdeppe, J., Ng, S. W., Mowery, P., Farrelly, M., & Messeri, P. (2005). How state counter-industry campaigns help prime perceptions of tobacco industry practices to promote reductions in youth smoking. Tobacco Control, 14, 377–383.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Hoffmann, T., & Worrall, L. (2004). Designing effective written health education materials: Considerations for health professionals. Disability and Rehabilitation, 26, 1166–1173.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hutchinson, P., & Wheeler, J. (2006). The cost-effectiveness of health communication programs: What do we know? Journal of Health Communication, 11, 7–45.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Hutchinson, P., Lance, P., Guilkey, D. K., Shahjahan, M., & Haque, S. (2006). Measuring the cost-effectiveness of a national health communication program in rural Bangladesh. Journal of Health Communication, 11, 91–121.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Kalichman, S. C., Kelly, J. A., & Stevenson, L. Y. (1997). Priming effects of HIV risk assessments on related perceptions and behavior: An experimental field study. AIDS and Behavior, 1, 3–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Kotz, D., Stapleton, J. A., Owen, L., & West, R. (2010). How cost-effective is ‘No Smoking Day’? Tobacco Control. Advance online publication. doi:10.1136/tc.2009.034397.

  17. Kreuter, M. W., Chheda, S. G., & Bull, F. C. (2000). How does physician advice influence patient behavior? Evidence for a priming effect. Archives of Family Medicine, 9, 426–433.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Louis, M. R., & Sutton, R. I. (1991). Switching cognitive gears: From habits of mind to active thinking. Human Relations, 44, 55–76.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Mackay, J., & Mensah, G. (2004). The atlas of heart disease and stroke. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Maglione, M., Larson, C., Giannotti, T., & Lapin, P. (2007). Use of Medicare summary notice inserts to generate interest in the Medicare Stop Smoking Program. American Journal of Health Promotion, 21, 422–425.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Mississippi State Department of Health. (2004). Mississippi state plan for heart disease and stroke prevention and control 2004–2013. Retrieved August 14, 2010, from http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/msdhsite/_static/resources/1670.pdf.

  22. Mosca, L., Mochari, H., Christian, A., Berra, K., Taubert, K., Mills, T., et al. (2006). National study of women’s awareness, action, and barriers to cardiovascular health. Circulation, 113, 525–534.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Parrott, R. L. (1995). Motivation to attend to health message: Presentation of content and linguistic consideration. In E. Maibach & R. L. Parrott (Eds.), Designing health messages: Approaches from communication theory and public health practice (pp. 7–23). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Peterson, M., Chandlee, M., & Abraham, A. (2008). Cost-effectiveness analysis of a statewide media campaign to promote adolescent physical activity. Health Promotion Practice, 4, 426–433.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Rose, G. (1992). The strategy of preventive medicine. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Roskos-Ewoldsen, D. R., David, R., Klinger, M. R., & Roskos-Ewoldsen, B. (2007). Media priming: A meta-analysis. In R. W. Preiss, B. M. Gayle, N. Burrell, M. Allen, & J. Bryant (Eds.), Mass media effects research: Advances through meta-analysis (pp. 53–80). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Schmitt, B. H. (1994). Contextual priming of visual information in advertisements. Psychology and Marketing, 11, 1–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. SPSS for Windows, Rel. 16.0 (2007). Chicago: SPSS Inc.

  29. Sun, S., Korhonen, T., Uutela, A., Korhonen, H. J., Puska, P., Jun, Y., et al. (2000). International Quit and Win 1996: Comparative evaluation study in China and Finland. Tobacco Control, 9, 303–309.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. Thackeray, R., & Brown, K. M. (2005). Social marketing’s unique contributions to health promotion practice. Health Promotion Practice, 6, 365–368.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. United States Census Bureau. (2000). U.S. census 2000. Retrieved August 21, 2010, from http://www.allcountries.org/uscensus/75_religious_preference_church_membership_and_attendance.html.

  32. Walsh, D. C., Rudd, R. E., Moeykens, B. A., & Moloney, T. W. (1993). Social marketing for public health. Health Affairs, 12, 104–119.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. World Health Organization. (2009). Cardiovascular diseases. Retrieved August 14, 2010, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/en/print.html.

  34. Zhou, F., Euler, G. L., McPhee, S. J., Nguyen, T., Lam, T., Wong, C., et al. (2003). Economic analysis of promotion of hepatitis B vaccinations among Vietnamese-American children and adolescents in Houston and Dallas. Pediatrics, 111, 1289–1296.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Zulman, D. M., Vijan, S., Omenn, G. S., & Hayward, R. A. (2008). The relative merits of population-based and targeted prevention strategies. The Milbank Quarterly, 86, 557–580.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The data for the present study were collected at Jackson State University.

This research was supported by a grant from the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mindy Ma.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ma, M., Dollar, K.M., Kibler, J.L. et al. The Effects of Priming on a Public Health Campaign Targeting Cardiovascular Risks. Prev Sci 12, 333 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-011-0228-3

Download citation

Keywords

  • Priming
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Public health campaign