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The Effect of Health Communications on a Statewide West Nile Virus Public Health Education Campaign

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Objectives: To determine knowledge, behavior, and attitude among Kansas residents exposed to a statewide West Nile Virus health education campaign. Methods: Telephone survey employing random selection of urban and rural counties and telephone numbers. Results: Knowledge was widespread, preventive behaviors less so. TV, newspapers, and word-of-mouth were most frequently cited sources of information. A small percentage of individuals received information from health professionals. Conclusions: Recommendations are made for designing and implementing future campaigns, including taking into account target population demographics, populations at highest risk, and channels of communication. Greater use of the Internet, word of mouth, and newspapers appear most promising.
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Keywords: West Nile virus; communications; health education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS. 2: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS. 3: State Epidemiologist, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Topeka, KS. 4: Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS.

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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