Journal article

Use of mass media campaigns to change health behaviour

Melanie A Wakefield, Barbara Loken, Robert C Hornik

The Lancet | ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC | Published : 2010


Mass media campaigns are widely used to expose high proportions of large populations to messages through routine uses of existing media, such as television, radio, and newspapers. Exposure to such messages is, therefore, generally passive. Such campaigns are frequently competing with factors, such as pervasive product marketing, powerful social norms, and behaviours driven by addiction or habit. In this Review we discuss the outcomes of mass media campaigns in the context of various health-risk behaviours (eg, use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, heart disease risk factors, sex-related behaviours, road safety, cancer screening and prevention, child survival, and organ or blood donation)..

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Awarded by US National Cancer Institute


Funding Acknowledgements

MAW is supported by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellowship. RCH is supported by a grant from the US National Cancer Institute P20-CA095856-06. We thank Susan Mello and Judith Stanke for assistance in literature searches.