Population level effects of a mass media alcohol and breast cancer campaign: A Cross-Sectional Pre-Intervention and Post-Intervention Evaluation

Neil Martin, Penny Buykx, Colin Shevills, Claire Sullivan, Lynsey Clark, Dorothy Newbury-Birch

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Abstract

Aims This study aims to examine the relationship between a TV-led breast cancer mass-media campaign (conducted in two waves: Jul/2015 and Nov/2015), awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer, intention to reduce alcohol consumption and support for alcohol policies. Methods Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted; one over the two weeks pre-campaign (n=572); one immediately following campaign wave 1 (n=576); and another immediately following campaign wave 2 (n=552). Survey questions assessed; campaign exposure; awareness of the links between alcohol and related cancers; intention to change alcohol consumption; and support for alcohol related policies. Results The proportion of respondents indicating awareness of alcohol as a cancer risk factor was significantly larger post-campaign compared to pre-campaign. The largest increase was seen for breast cancer with 45% aware of the links post-campaign wave 2 compared to 33% pre-campaign. The proportion of respondents indicating ‘strong support’ of the seven alcohol related policies significantly increased between surveys. The proportion of respondents both aware of alcohol as a cancer risk factor and supportive of the seven alcohol related policies significantly increased between surveys. There was no significant change in self-reported intention to reduce alcohol consumption amongst increasing/higher risk drinkers. Conclusion These findings indicate that a mass-media campaign raising awareness of the links between alcohol and breast cancer is associated with increased awareness and policy support at a population level. Whilst a campaign in isolation may not be effective in changing individual drinking behaviour, it may be associated with increased public support for alcohol public health policy. Summary A mass-media campaign raising awareness of the links between alcohol and breast cancer is associated with increased awareness and alcohol policy support at a population level but does not appear to be effective in reducing drinking intentions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2017

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