The Reach and Impact of Social Marketing and Reproductive Health Communication Campaigns in Zambia
Van Rossem, R., & Meekers, D. BMC Public Health (2007), 7, p. 352.
This study used the nationally representative 2001–2002 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey to assess the effect of mass media campaigns on condom use. Statistical methods were used to ensure against the possibility that the same factors that influence media exposure also influence condom use, or that condom users may seek out the health communication programs in question. Men were more likely to recall media messages than women, with fully 75% of men reporting exposure to condom messages. Although there was no correlation between exposure to these campaigns and other sexual risk behaviors, men and women with such exposure were more likely to have ever used condoms. For women, the difference was small but statistically significant; however, men exposed to messages were 50% more likely to have ever used condoms. Generally, the more exposure to the campaign, the greater the likelihood of these positive health behaviors—for example, men with the most exposure to messages were twice as likely to have ever used condoms than those with the least exposure. While the study cannot identify what specific content or messages affect condom use or the pathways of exposure, it nevertheless shows an overall positive effect of media exposure to condom use.