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Expanding the Reach of Health Campaigns: Can Community Organizations Serve as Viable Channels of Health Information?
Unformatted Document Text:  Expanding the Reach 10 H1: Education, age, gender, newspaper reading, television viewing, and health information seeking will each be associated with membership in community organizations. H2: Controlling for the influence of the variables noted in H1, membership in community organizations will further predict health outcomes. Based on prior finding that health information seeking predicts health outcomes (Rimal & Flora, 1998), we test H2 by also controlling for the influence of health information seeking. This is an important consideration if we are to demonstrate that membership in community organizations provides us with channels of health information that are not redundant with channels that individuals use on their own. In other words, the utility of community organizations as disseminators of health information can be demonstrated to the extent that they explain additional variance in health outcomes beyond that explained by individuals’ health information-seeking behaviors. Knowledge as a Health Outcome Given that the ultimate goal of most public health campaigns is to change behavior, evaluating campaigns according to this criterion appears reasonable. Kaplan (1990) in fact argues that "the only important indicators of health and wellness are behavioral" (p. 1211). Using this criterion, however, is likely to underestimate campaign effects for at least two reasons. First, campaigns aimed at changing individuals’ lifestyles, such as those associated with cardiovascular disease prevention, require long-term behavioral modification, which in turn require changes in intra-individual factors such as efficacy, attitude, knowledge, etc. These intermediate outcomes are likely to remain undetectable when overt behavioral outcomes are taken as the only measures of campaign influence. The transtheoretical model (Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992) posits, for example, that changes occur through progression

Authors: Stephens, Keri., Rimal, Rajiv. and Flora, June.
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Expanding the Reach 10
H1: Education, age, gender, newspaper reading, television viewing, and health
information seeking will each be associated with membership in community organizations.
H2: Controlling for the influence of the variables noted in H1, membership in community
organizations will further predict health outcomes.
Based on prior finding that health information seeking predicts health outcomes (Rimal &
Flora, 1998), we test H2 by also controlling for the influence of health information seeking. This
is an important consideration if we are to demonstrate that membership in community
organizations provides us with channels of health information that are not redundant with
channels that individuals use on their own. In other words, the utility of community
organizations as disseminators of health information can be demonstrated to the extent that they
explain additional variance in health outcomes beyond that explained by individuals’ health
information-seeking behaviors.
Knowledge as a Health Outcome
Given that the ultimate goal of most public health campaigns is to change behavior,
evaluating campaigns according to this criterion appears reasonable. Kaplan (1990) in fact
argues that "the only important indicators of health and wellness are behavioral" (p. 1211).
Using this criterion, however, is likely to underestimate campaign effects for at least two
reasons. First, campaigns aimed at changing individuals’ lifestyles, such as those associated with
cardiovascular disease prevention, require long-term behavioral modification, which in turn
require changes in intra-individual factors such as efficacy, attitude, knowledge, etc. These
intermediate outcomes are likely to remain undetectable when overt behavioral outcomes are
taken as the only measures of campaign influence. The transtheoretical model (Prochaska,
DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992) posits, for example, that changes occur through progression


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