Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shoot the messenger...

Parts of the readings for this week dealt with the development of effective health messages. Kreuter and colleagues talked about the effectiveness of health communication and ways to improve its quality. They introduce a model of health communication planning that considers the source, the message, the channel factors, the receiver, and the destination of a message in respect to communication and how these components might be affected by culture. The article highlights that source credibility depends on expertise and trustworthiness. As much as I agree with that, I do think we need to differentiate here, because expertise can be different things to different people. For me, growing up in a biomedical world, expertise is defined differently than for someone who grew up around traditional healers. It was also interesting to read how messages are perceived differently depending who narrates them, showing cleary that receivers of messages try to identify themselves with the narrator, hence, cultural attributes might become important.

Donohew and colleagues talked about messages targeted at high sensation seekers (HSS) and low sensation seekers (LSS) and how messages need to differ in order to achieve best results. I am not sure how I feel about tis article yet. As much as I believe that different adds, TV shows, newspapers, ...any form of media as a matter of fact, appeal to different people, I don't know about grouping them in HSS and LSS only. Just seems very odd.

The Steptoe article...why was that in the readings Mohan? Maybe as a bad example of how not to do research? I will share my anger in class, I am sure you had some sort of reason to throw that in the readings.

I loved the article by Susser & Stein. It allowed so much insight on the different perceptions and ideas about HIV/AIDS and female condom use. It allowed the reader to be part of the conversations. However, I wondered, how come the donor agencies have money to give for the use of male condoms, bit not for female condoms? Is it because they are more expensive? They would fulfill the same purpose. If I were the women that were interviewed, I'd be mad. People coming in to show how the condoms work but then not bringing any samples along to pass out.

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