Communication Studies 394-0: Undergraduate Research Seminar

Section 24: Persuasion in Health Contexts

Spring 2021





5.  Health communication campaigns

5.1  Health communication campaigns: general overview

5.2  Campaign planning: formative research, audience segmentation, etc.

5.2.1  Overview and general discussions

5.2.2  Some specific examples



5.1  Health communication campaigns: general overview


For further reading:


            Atkin, C., & Salmon, C. T. (2010). Communication campaigns. In C. R. Berger, M. E. Roloff, & D. R. Roskos-Ewoldsen (Eds.), Handbook of communication science (2nd ed., pp. 419-435). Los Angeles: Sage.

            Silk, K. J., Atkin, C. K., & Salmon, C. T. (2011). Developing effective media campaigns for health promotion. In T. L. Thompson, R. Parrott, & J. F. Nussbaum (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of health communication (2nd ed., pp. 203-219). New York: Routledge.

            Roberto, A. J., Murray-Johnson, L., & Witte, K. (2011). International health communication campaigns in developing countries. In T. L. Thompson, R. Parrott, & J. F. Nussbaum (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of health communication (2nd ed., pp. 220-234). New York: Routledge.

            Atkin, C. K., & Salmon, C. T. (2013). Persuasive strategies in health campaigns. In J. P. Dillard & L. Shen (Eds.), The Sage handbook of persuasion: Developments in theory and practice (2nd ed., pp. 278-295). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

            Atkin, C. K., & Rice, R. E. (2013). Advances in public communication campaigns. The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies. doi:10.1002/9781444361506.wbiems129

            Atkin, C. K., & Rice, R. E. (2014). Strategies and principles for using mass and online/digital media in health communication campaigns. In D. K. Kim, A. Singhal, & G. L. Kreps (Eds.), Health communication: Strategies for developing global health programs (pp. 13-36). New York: Peter Lang.
            Firestone, R., Rowe, C. J., Modi, S. N., & Sievers, D. (2017). The effectiveness of social marketing in global health: A systematic review. Health Policy and Planning, 32, 110-124. doi:10.1093/heapol/czw

5.2  Campaign planning: formative research, audience segmentation, etc.


5.2.1  Overview and general discussions


            Atkin, C. K., & Freimuth, V. (2013). Guidelines for formative evaluation research in campaign design. In R. E. Rice & C. K. Atkin (Eds.), Public communication campaigns (4th ed., pp. 53-68). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.  [copy provided here]

            Slater, M. D. (1995). Choosing audience segmentation strategies and methods for health communication. In E. Maibach & R. L. Parrott (Eds.), Designing health messages: Approaches from communication theory and public health practice (pp. 186-198). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [copy provided here]


For further reading:

             Slater, M. D. (2006). Specification and misspecification of theoretical foundations and logic models for health communication campaigns. Health Communication, 20, 149-157. doi:10.1207/s15327027hc2002_6

            Middlestadt, S. E. (2007). What is the behavior? Strategies for selecting the behavior to be addressed by health promotion interventions. In I. Ajzen, D. Albarracin, & R. Hornik (Eds.), Prediction and change of health behavior: Applying the reasoned action approach (pp. 129-147). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

            Abraham, C. (2012). Mapping change mechanisms into behaviour change techniques: A systematic approach to promoting behaviour change through text. In C. Abraham & M. Kools (Eds.), Writing health communication: An evidence-based guide (pp. 99-116). Los Angeles: Sage.

            Rossmann, C. (2014). Strategic health communication: Theory- and evidence-based campaign development. In D. Holtzhausen & A. Zerfass (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of strategic communication (pp. 409-423). New York: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203094440.ch27

            Lewis, I., Watson, B., & White, K. M. (2016). The step approach to message design and testing (SatMDT): A conceptual framework to guide the development and evaluation of persuasive health messages. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 97, 309-314. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2015.07.019

            Cole, G. E., Keller, P. A., Reynolds, J., Schaur, M., & Krause, D. (2016). CDC MessageWorks: Designing and validating a social marketing tool to craft and defend effective messages. Social Marketing Quarterly, 22(1), 3-18. doi:10.1177/1524500415614817

            Meschtscherjakov, A., Gärtner, M., Mirnig, A., Rödel, C., & Tscheligi, M. (2016). The Persuasive Potential Questionnaire (PPQ): Challenges, drawbacks, and lessons learned. In A. Meschtscherjakov, B. De Ruyter, V. Fuchsberger, M. Murer, & M. Tscheligi (Eds.), Persuasive technology: 11th international conference, PERSUASIVE 2016 (pp. 162-175). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

            O’Keefe, D. J. (2018). Message pretesting using assessments of expected or perceived persuasiveness: Evidence about diagnosticity of relative actual persuasiveness. Journal of Communication, 68, 120-142. doi:10.1093/joc/jqx009

5.2.2  Some specific examples


            Brugge, D., DeJong, W., Hyde, J., Le, Q., Shih, C.-S., Wong, A., & Tran, A. (2002). Development of targeted message concepts for recent Asian immigrants about secondhand smoke. Journal of Health Communication, 7, 25-37.
            Rodgers, S., Chen, Q. M., Duffy, M., & Fleming, K. (2007). Media usage as health segmentation variables. Journal of Health Communication, 12, 105-120. 

            Stapleton, J., Turrisi, R., Hillhouse, J., Robinson, J. K., & Abar, B. (2010). A comparison of the efficacy of an appearance-focused skin cancer intervention within indoor tanner subgroups identified by latent profile analysis. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 33, 181-190. doi:10.1007/s10865-009-9246-z

            Popova, L., Neilands, T. B., & Ling, P. M. (2014). Testing messages to reduce smokers’ openness to using novel smokeless tobacco products. Tobacco Control, 23, 313-321. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050723


For further reading:

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

            Cho, H., & Witte, K. (2005). Managing fear in public health campaigns: A theory-based formative evaluation process. Health Promotion Practice, 6, 482–490. doi:10.1177/1524839904263912

            Smith, S. W., Atkin, C. K., Martell, C., Allen, R., & Hembroff, L. (2006). A social judgment theory approach to conducting formative research in a social norms campaign. Communication Theory, 16, 141-152.

            Young, D. R., Johnson, C. C., Steckler, A., Gittelsohn, J., Saunders, R. P., Saksvig, B. I., Ribisl, K. M., Lytle, L. A., & McKenzie, T. L. (2006). Data to action: Using formative research to develop intervention programs to increase physical activity in adolescent girls. Health Education and Behavior, 33, 97-111.

            Whittingham, J., Ruiter, R. A. C., Zimbile, F., & Kok, G. (2008).  Experimental pretesting of public health campaigns:  A case study. Journal of Health Communication, 13, 216-230.

            Bellows, L., Anderson, J., Gould, S. M., & Auld, G. (2008). Formative research and strategic development of a physical activity component to a social marketing campaign for obesity prevention in preschoolers. Journal of Community Health, 33, 169-178.

            Maddock, J. E. , Silbanuz, A. , & Reger-Nash, B. (2008). Formative research to develop a mass media campaign to increase physical activity and nutrition in a multiethnic state. Journal of Health Communication, 13(3), 208–215.  doi:10.1080/10810730701807225

            Cameron, K. A., Rintamaki, L. S., Kamanda-Kosseh, M., Noskin, G. A., Baker, D. B., & Makoul, G. (2009). Using theoretical constructs to identify key issues for targeted message design: African American seniors’ perceptions about influenza and influenza vaccination. Health Communication, 24, 316-326.

            Wang, X. (2009). Integrating the theory of planned behavior and attitude functions: Implications for health campaign design. Health Communication, 24, 426-434.

            Vodicka, S., Shelton, M., & Cassell, J. (2010). Segmenting beyond demographics: North Carolina’s use of two tools to segment audiences for obesity prevention. Cases in Public Health Communication & Marketing, 4, 101-130.

            Mackert, M., Kahlor, L., Silva, K., & Padilla, Y. (2010). Promoting folic acid to Spanish-speaking Hispanic women: Evaluating existing campaigns to guide new development. Women & Health, 50, 376-395. doi:10.1080/03630242.2010.498757

            Shafer, A., Cates, J. R.,. Diehl, S. J., & Hartmann, M. (2011). Asking Mom: Formative research for an HPV vaccine campaign targeting mothers of adolescent girls. Health Communication, 16, 988-1005. doi:10.1080/10810730.2011.571343

            Campo, S., Askelson, N. M., Carter, K. D., & Losch, M. (2012). Segmenting audiences and tailoring messages using the extended parallel process model and cluster analysis to improve health campaigns. Social Marketing Quarterly, 18, 98–111. doi:10.1177/1524500412450490

            Lewis, I., Watson, B., White, K. M., & Elliott, B. (2013). The beliefs which influence young males to speed and strategies to slow them down: Informing the content of antispeeding messages. Psychology & Marketing, 30, 826-841. doi:10.1002/mar.20648

            Noar, S. M., Zimmerman, R. S., Palmgreen, P., Cupp, P. K., Floyd, B. R., & Mehrotra, P. (2014). Development and implementation of mass media campaigns to delay sexual initiation among African American and White youth. Journal of Health Communication, 19, 152-169. doi:10.1080/10810730.2013.811318

            Mangan, J. M., Galindo-Gonzalez, S., & Irani, T. A. (2015). Development and initial testing of messages to encourage tuberculosis testing and treatment among Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccinated persons. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 17, 79-88. doi:10.1007/s10903-013-9928-z

            Kannan, V. D., & Veazie, P. J. (2015). Who avoids going to the doctor and why? Audience segmentation analysis for application of message development. Health Communication, 30, 635-645. doi:10.1080/10410236.2013.878967

            Greene, K., Catona, D., Elek, E., Magsamen-Conrad, K., Banerjee, S. C., & Hecht, M. L. (2016). Improving prevention curricula: Lessons learned through formative research on the youth message development curriculum. Journal of Health Communication, 21, 1071-1078. doi:10.1080/10810730.2016.1222029

            Pollard, C. M., Howat, P. A., Pratt, I. S., Boushey, C. J., Delp, E. J., & Kerr, D. A. (2016). Preferred tone of nutrition text messages for young adults: Focus group testing. JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth, 4, 252-265. doi:10.2196/mhealth.4764

            Mohadis, H. M., Ali, N., & Smeaton, A. F. (2016). Designing a persuasive physical activity application for older workers: Understanding end-user perceptions. Behaviour & Information Technology, 35, 1102-1114. doi:10.1080/0144929X.2016.1211737

            Band, R., Bradbury, K., Morton, K., May, C., Michie, S., Mair, F. S., Murray, E., McManus, R. J., Little, P., Yardley, L. (2017). Intervention planning for a digital intervention for self-management of hypertension: A theory-, evidence- and person-based approach. Implementation Science, 12, 25. doi:10.1186/s13012-017-0553-4
            Record, R. A., Harrington, N. G., Helme, D. W., & Savage, M. W. (2018). Using the theory of planned behavior to guide focus group development of messages aimed at increasing compliance with a tobacco-free policy. American Journal of Health Promotion, 32, 143-152. doi:10.1177/0890117116687467

            Scherr, C. L., Nam, K., Augusto, B., Kasting, M. L., Caldwell, M., Lee, M. C., Meade, C. D., Pal, T., Quinn, G. P., & Vadaparampil, S. T. (2020). A framework for pilot testing health risk video narratives. Health Communication, 35(7), 832-841. doi:1080/10410236.2019.1598612


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