Evaluation of a health communication campaign to increase blood pressure screenings among high risk community residents
Blacher, Karen Stephanie
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Almost one-third of U.S. adults ages 20 and over have hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Regular blood pressure screenings and subsequent treatment can significantly reduce morbidity and mortality. In response to this health concern, researchers have developed interventions to motivate at-risk individuals to pursue a blood pressure check. It is important to assess these interventions for effectiveness. This study's objective was to examine one such intervention: a direct-mailing campaign in King County, Washington. Specifically, this research investigated the relationship between health communication processing variables and a subsequent blood pressure check, and whether individualizing the message was effective in motivating behavior change. This study also assessed whether certain demographic characteristics influenced the likelihood for individuals to report a blood pressure check after receiving the mailing. Data was used from a randomized control intervention that utilized a 2x2 design, manipulating personal risk information and source personalization. Participants of this intervention resided in one of four fire districts in King County, Washington, and were eligible for the study if they had a systolic blood pressure ≥160 mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure ≥100 mmHg, as reported by emergency medical technicians (EMTs) during a 911 visit between July 2007 and September 2009. Statistical analyses, including descriptive, bivariate, and logistic regression, were conducted to measure the participants' likelihood of reporting a blood pressure check subsequent to receiving a brochure. Results from bi-variate analyses indicated that some information processes, including how much the participant liked the mailing and how useful he or she found the mailing, were associated with reporting a repeat blood pressure check. Older age, insurance status, and prior history of hypertension were also positively associated with the outcome variable, providing evidence that direct-mailing interventions can be more effective for certain demographics than others.
- Health services