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Evidence: Role in Campaigns

  • By: Matthias R. Hastall
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The concept of evidence is linked to health campaigns in several ways. First, ethical and cost-effectiveness considerations suggest that campaign-related decisions should be based on the best scientific evidence available, instead of on practitioners' gut feelings. For example, decisions about message construction strategies and about appropriate message dissemination channels should be grounded in systematic research evidence, preferably meta-analytic reviews. Second, health campaigns should only advocate evidence-based health behavior recommendations for relevant health threats. Third, central campaign claims should be substantiated with conclusive evidence in order to foster persuasion.

Evidence-Based Practice Approaches

These three principles are consistent with evidence-based practice (EBP) approaches to health communication that aim at maximizing attention to health messages, knowledge transfer, attitude changes, and health behavior changes. While the first and second principles solely ...

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