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Reaching the target group - health messages and health behaviours

Investigating the relationship between health message awareness and related health behaviours among attendees at sponsored events.

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Healthway sponsors sport organisations and community events in exchange for the promotion of health messages at sponsored events. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between spectators’ cognitive impact of the health message promoted at sponsored events and their health behaviour.

Interview and self administered surveys were collected among 1648 attendees aged over 15 years across two 12 month time periods at Healthway sponsored events (n=27).

Overall, 68.9% of respondents were aware of the sponsored health message promoted at the event they attended, with females approximately 1.4 times more likely to recall a sponsorship message than males. Participants’ health behaviour status was found to be significantly associated with their awareness of sponsored health messages, more so if their at-risk behaviour matched the promoted message. With the exception of smokers, there was little impact of health behaviour status beyond awareness across the remaining levels of cognitive impact. The most consistent trend observed was the confounding nature of age and gender on participants’ health behaviours and their cognitive impact.

The results of this study reinforce focusing on raising awareness of health messages at sponsored events, with age and gender profiling of audiences useful to predict likely distributions of health behaviours and subsequent decisions on the selection of appropriate health messages.

Suggested Citation:

Rosenberg M & Ferguson R. Reaching the Target Group: health message awareness and related health behaviours. Health Promotion Evaluation Unit, School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, 2013. 

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