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Beyond Knowledge Gaps: Media Campaigns and Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Behavior

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Jeffrey Niederdeppe, PhD (bio)

October 29 2007

42 minutes

166 views

Large-scale media campaigns are associated with reductions in a variety of unhealthy behaviors, including cigarette smoking. The prevalence of smoking among US adults has steadily declined over the past 40 years. Despite the overall reductions in adult smoking, disparities in smoking rates by socioeconomic status (SES) have increased dramatically over this time period.

This presentation proposes a conceptual model to describe how media campaigns might lead to differences in smoking cessation between groups, reviews literature on the effectiveness of media interventions to promote smoking cessation among low SES populations, and presents data from a longitudinal study of smoking cessation media campaign effects on smoking cessation in Wisconsin.

There is considerable evidence that media interventions to promote smoking cessation are often less effective, sometimes equally effective, and rarely more effective among disadvantaged populations relative to more advantaged populations.

Disparities in the effectiveness of media interventions between SES groups may occur at any of three stages: differences in meaningful exposure, differences in motivational response, or differences in opportunity to sustain long-term cessation. I conclude with thoughts on how communication theory could be used to reduce health disparities through policy changes that address social and structural determinants of health.

Partner:

Population Health Sciences

Series:

Population Health Sciences Seminar Series

Categories:

Health Policy, Public Health
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