Leveraging Mass Media for Health Promotion

Introduction

The mass media plays an essential role for disseminating information regarding health and improving awareness regarding health education which helps to create change in the attitudes and behaviour of the individuals for achieving improved health. The purpose of this assignment is to analyse the role of the mass media and its use for disseminating health information which is aimed to raise awareness for the campaign regarding alcohol cessation among the adults of 18-45 years of age in the UK by using social media as the communication channel.

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Rationale for the media health promotion

In England and Scotland, nearly 24% of the adults above 18 years of age are seen to regularly consume alcohol in 2018. In Great Britain, 27% of the adults are the heaviest drinkers who regularly consume alcohol (alcoholchange.org.uk, 2020). In 2017, before the survey of recording alcohol consumption rates among the adults in the UK, it is identified that 29.2 million adults within the age of 18-45 years drank alcohol in the previous week. This indicates 57% of the total population involved in drinking alcohol in the UK. In addition, the survey informed that 10% of the adults drank alcohol for five or more days (ons.gov.uk, 2017). This indicates that adult in the UK is involved in increased level of alcohol abuse which is going to create deteriorating effect on their health.

The health promotion regarding alcohol cessation for the adults is to be made with the social media communication because it is the most frequent mode of media used by the adults in the UK for interaction and accessing information. This is evident as per reports in 2017 it is seen that 33% of adults within 18-25 years of age, 52% adults of 25-34 years of age, 39% of adults with 35-45 years of age and 35% of the adults of 45-54 years of age are involved in frequently using social media as key mode for communication (avocadosocial.com, 2019). For example, Inclusion which is one of the health organisation in the UK is seen to inform methods to be adopted by people for overcoming alcohol addiction, services and authorities to be approached for accessing health to resolve alcohol abuse and others by using Twitter as the social media (twitter.com, 2020). Moreover, the NHS Scotland is seen to have developed a separate Facebook page for informing data regarding Drug and Alcohol Recovery to the population in the UK (nhshighland.scot.nhs.uk, 2019). This indicates the NHS in the UK are also using social media communication for disseminating information regarding techniques of cessation of alcohol intake among the people to make them develop healthier habits. Therefore, social media is effective media to be selected for health promotion regarding alcohol cessation as it is also used by the key healthcare organisation for dissemination health-related information to the people.

The social media in health promotion helps to deliver the data through audio-visual mode as well as allows individuals to interact regarding the information provided to determine their meaning and usefulness (Lim et al. 2016). Thus, the social media use allows better processing of data by the population regarding health issues as audio-visual information is seen to create deeper impact on the brains of the individuals to remembers them. In addition, social media delivered healthcare information are easy to be understood and processed by the target individuals as they are able to directly converse about issues and confusion regarding the data with the health professionals and responsible people for health promotion to be develop clarified data. The social media acts to create effective two-way communication in the health promotion as information regarding health issue is able to be delivered through audio-visual mode and the target individuals can ask and communicate their queries to concerned individuals through social media in the form of written comments (Hornmoen and McInnes, 2018). In contrast, the study by Savolainen et al. (2020) informs use of social media as health promotion media have disadvantage of being unable to assure target population of the authenticity of message and often overload of data is provided which are unable to be understood by them. Therefore, in using social media for the cessation of alcohol among the adults in the UK it is to be ensured that proper steps are taken to assure the authenticity of information to the target population and overload of information is avoided in single messages. Further, social media is used in this case because it is cost-effective and potent way of disseminating information.

Definition of Multi-media and Method used

Multi-media is referred to the nature of media content which uses combination of variety of contents from like audio, text, animations, pictures, interactive content and videos (Alyahyan and Wang, 2018). The multi-media contrast with the Media in the sense that the later implements only rudimentary display in the computer such as only text or traditional way of print out of materials (Wang and Alexander, 2018). The multi-media method chosen to plan the health promotion activity for cessation of alcohol among 18-45 years aged adults in the UK is the audio-visual method. The audio-visual method is chosen for the campaign because it allows ease for the target audience to follow the content and understand them. This is because a key part of the brain is dedicated to process visual images and this allows the individuals when images are shown to them to develop better cognition and provide attention to the information. Moreover, visual images supported by audio makes target audience in health promotion be clarified of the meaning of the information disseminated to them, in turn, making them show attention to hear the information (Barker et al. 2019). This is because lack of understanding of information makes audience in health promotion remain confused and develop lack of cognition of the steps asked to be taken. Thus, the audio-visual method would be used for the planned activity as it is going to create greater attention of the target audience to listen to the information as well as the information would be easier to be remembered by them to implement in their everyday life for creating change in their behaviour to alcohol intake.

Objectives for the Intervention

The initial objectives of the intervention for cessation of the alcohol consumption and abuse among the adults of 18-49 years in the UK are to inform the negative impact of alcohol consumption on the health of the adults in the UK. This is because without getting aware or educated regarding the adverse effects alcohol consumption is creating on their health they cannot be made attentive and show consideration to listen to alcohol cessation techniques and services to be informed through the health promotion campaign (Harding et al. 2016). The other objective is to mention strategies to be implemented for cessation of alcohol consumption among adults. The information regarding the strategies to resolve any health issue is required by the individuals to understand the procedure to be followed and changes in their behaviour along with lifestyle is to be made for attaining better quality health (Ahn et al. 2019).

Another objective for the intervention is to discuss the services available for the adults to be accessed for attainting cessation of alcohol consumption and abuse. This is because in resolving health issues the individuals require to have knowledge which authorities are to be approached by them to avail care and support to improve their health (Babor et al. 2017). The intervention for alcohol cessation is also planned for explaining the positive effects of the health of the adults on cessation of alcohol consumption. This is because the knowledge regarding the advantages for health to be accessed by individuals on adopting certain methods makes people value as well as efficacy to be involved in the health promotion activity (Weisner et al. 2016).

Planned Activity for Intervention

The planned activity for achieving the alcohol cessation among adults in the UK is to educate them about the bad effects of alcohol consumption, ways to resolve it and the improvement to be able to be achieved in their health with the attainment of the change. This is because information regarding bad effects of alcohol would make individuals develop concern towards changing the habit as it would understand it is creating risk for their health. Moreover, ways to change substance abuse habit information in health promotion assist target population to known regarding the way they are to make change in their behaviour in turn leading to create successful change in their everyday lifestyle (Gubner et al. 2016). Thus, the inclusion of healthcare professionals and social workers to develop audio-visual content regarding the adverse effects of alcohol abuse and the way to resolve it along with the advantages to be achieved would be done. For this purpose, a separate social media page to be developed on different social media accounts so that in the page the audio-visual contents can be shared to inform about alcohol cessation among the adults. The social media tools to be used are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube as they are mostly commonly used social media among the people. In addition, the comments of the target audiences are to be analysed and reviewed by the health professional as well as reply them so that an interactive way of disseminating the information is established. This is because it would assist to resolve confusion developed among the target population regarding actions to be performed in making change of lifestyle ensuring successful alteration of behaviour.

The health professionals and social workers are to be collaboratively involved in the health promotion for alcohol cessation as they are regarded by the adults to be experienced and trained individuals in delivering knowledge regarding changes in health (Haber, 2019). Thus, the health professionals and social workers are to be involved in the intervention. Moreover, they are involved for disseminating the audio-visual content as they are seen to have the expertise and effective knowledge regarding the way facts of health are to be presented so that they are properly understood by the target audience (Hidalgo et al. 2016).

The Health-Belief Model would be considered as the intervention model to be used for the health promotion of alcohol cessation among the adults of 18-49 years in the UK. The Health Belief model informs that change in behaviour regarding health can be made through perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits and perceived barriers. The perceived susceptibility is the subjective ability of the individuals to assess the risk of development of health problem (Mo et al. 2019). Thus, this informs that the content to be shared in the social media would be made in such a way so that the risk to be faced as a result of alcohol consumption such as cardiovascular diseases, cirrhosis of liver, cancer, stroke, digestive problems and others are informed with proper facts to the target audience. The perceived severity is the subjective examination of the severity of the health issues (Amin et al. 2018). Thus, in the content made and shared by health professionals regarding alcohol cessation among adults in the UK are to inform statistics of death caused by alcohol consumption to lead the target audience to understand the severity of the issue.

The perceived benefits are informing advantages to be accessed with change in health behaviour (Livi et al. 2017). Thus, in the health promotion content information such as improvement in liver functioning, avoidance to experience stroke and others are to be mentioned. This is required to motivate the target audience in cessing to drink alcohol. The perceived barriers are the obstacles to be faced by the individuals in making change in health behaviour (Livi et al. 2017). Thus, the content requires to mention barriers to be faced in cessation of alcohol and the way they are to overcome by availing online services, accessing help from NHS services and others.

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Evaluating the activity

The evaluation of the success of the health promotion activity would be determined by accessing feedback from the target audience. This is because feedback informs to what extent the target audience are influenced to create change in their behaviour to ensure better quality health condition (Davies, 2019). Thus, accessing feedback can help the people related to make the health campaign determine the extent to which information regarding alcohol cessation are understood and implemented in daily life by the adults in the UK to make change in their behaviour and attain better health. A survey is to be organised to determine the change in alcohol consumption among the target audience in the health promotion activities for evaluating its success. This is because the survey helps to provide numerical data regarding the number of people who changed their activities after the health promotion compared to people who previously used to take alcohol regularly. Thus, survey would help to easily determine the success of the activity.

Conclusion

The above discussion informs that alcohol consumption is at increased rate among the adults of 18-49 years in the UK. Thus, the health promotion for cessation of alcohol consumption or abuse is developed to aware the adults in the UK about its bad effects and the way they can change their behaviour to develop better health. In this purpose, the social media communication strategy is to be used as it is the most frequent communication mode used by adults in the UK. Moreover, audio-visual multi-media method is to be used for delivering content regarding alcohol cessation among adults in the UK. The Health-Belief model is to be used for planning activity in the health promotion and health professionals along with social workers are to be collaboratively involved in the process. The survey and feedback from the target audience is the evaluation process to be used for health promotion.

References

Ahn, H.Y., Paek, H.J. and Tinkham, S., 2019. The Role of Source Characteristics and Message Appeals in Public Service Advertising (PSA) Messages: An Application of Fishbein’s Expectancy-Value Model and the Match-Up Hypothesis for Anti-Binge-Drinking Campaigns Targeting College Students. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 40(2), pp.147-170.

Alyahyan, S. and Wang, W., 2018. Decision level ensemble method for classifying multi-media data. Wireless Networks, pp.1-9.

Amin, S., Hejar, A.R., Suriani, I. and Emilia, Z.A., 2018. Effectiveness of Health Belief Model based educational intervention on osteoporosis health belief scale among female academician in Malaysia. International Journal of Life Sciences Research, 6(3), pp.464-471.

Babor, T.F., Del Boca, F. and Bray, J.W., 2017. Screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment: implications of SAMHSA's SBIRT initiative for substance abuse policy and practice. Addiction, 112, pp.110-117.

Barker, A.B., Whittamore, K., Britton, J., Murray, R.L. and Cranwell, J., 2019. A content analysis of alcohol content in UK television. Journal of Public Health, 41(3), pp.462-469.

Davies, P., 2019. Obtaining time-critical feedback: Ask for health promotion students for feedback after each class. Pedagogy in Health Promotion, 5(3), pp.174-177.

Gubner, N.R., Kozar-Konieczna, A., Szoltysek-Boldys, I., Slodczyk-Mankowska, E., Goniewicz, J., Sobczak, A., Jacob III, P., Benowitz, N.L. and Goniewicz, M.L., 2016.

Cessation of alcohol consumption decreases rate of nicotine metabolism in male alcohol-dependent smokers. Drug and alcohol dependence, 163, pp.157-164.

Haber, D., 2019. Health promotion and aging: Practical applications for health professionals. Springer Publishing Company.

Harding, F.M., Hingson, R.W., Klitzner, M., Mosher, J.F., Brown, J., Vincent, R.M., Dahl, E. and Cannon, C.L., 2016. Underage drinking: a review of trends and prevention strategies. American journal of preventive medicine, 51(4), pp.S148-S157.

Hidalgo, K.D., Mielke, G.I., Parra, D.C., Lobelo, F., Simões, E.J., Gomes, G.O., Florindo, A.A., Bracco, M., Moura, L., Brownson, R.C. and Pratt, M., 2016. Health promoting practices and personal lifestyle behaviors of Brazilian health professionals. BMC Public Health, 16(1), p.1114.

Hornmoen, H. and McInnes, C., 2018. Social Media Communication During Disease Outbreaks: Findings and Recommendations. Social Media Use In Crisis and Risk Communication: Emergencies, Concerns and Awareness, p.255.

Lim, M.S., Hare, J.D., Carrotte, E.R. and Dietze, P.M., 2016. An investigation of strategies used in alcohol brand marketing and alcohol-related health promotion on Facebook. Digital health, 2, p.2055207616647305.

Livi, S., Zeri, F. and Baroni, R., 2017. Health beliefs affect the correct replacement of daily disposable contact lenses: Predicting compliance with the Health Belief Model and the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, 40(1), pp.25-32.

Mo, P.K., Wong, C.H. and Lam, E.H., 2019. Can the Health Belief Model and moral responsibility explain influenza vaccination uptake among nurses?. Journal of advanced nursing, 75(6), pp.1188-1206.

Savolainen, I., Oksanen, A., Kaakinen, M., Sirola, A., Miller, B.L., Paek, H.J. and Zych, I., 2020. The Association Between Social Media Use and Hazardous Alcohol Use Among Youths: A Four-Country Study. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 55(1), pp.86-95.

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Wang, L. and Alexander, C.A., 2018. Big Data Analytics in Biometrics and Healthcare. Journal of Computer Sciences and Applications, 6(1), pp.48-55.

Weisner, C.M., Chi, F.W., Lu, Y., Ross, T.B., Wood, S.B., Hinman, A., Pating, D., Satre, D. and Sterling, S.A., 2016. Examination of the effects of an intervention aiming to link patients receiving addiction treatment with health care: the LINKAGE clinical trial. JAMA psychiatry, 73(8), pp.804-814.

Appendix

In 2016, nearly 9,214 alcohol-related deaths are reported in the UK and in 2018 7,551 alcohol-related death is reported which was second highest since 2001 (ons.gov.uk, 2017a). This informs that increased alcohol consumption is adversely affecting the health of the adults in the UK due to which they are facing deteriorated health condition making them face fatal consequences. In addition, within England 586,780 adult-dependent drinkers are seen to be present in 2017-18 and among them, 82% are seen not to be accessing proper treatment to cease alcohol intake (ons.gov.uk, 2017). This informs that effective awareness regarding alcohol cessation is to be built in public within the UK so that they understand the importance of accessing treatment to be able to avoid alcohol. The alcohol misuse in the UK is found to be one of the reasons that create deteriorated health condition among 15-49 years old individuals (gov.uk, 2017). Thus, health promotion for alcohol cessation in the UK is to be established by targeting the adults as they are one who is exposed to ill-health out of increased consumption of alcohol.

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