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Crutches, confetti or useful tools? Professionals, views on and use of health education leaflets

Murphy, Simon and Smith, Christopher 1993. Crutches, confetti or useful tools? Professionals, views on and use of health education leaflets. Health Education Research 8 (2) , pp. 205-215. 10.1093/her/8.2.205

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This paper examines the views on and use of health education leaflets by a number of professional groups: health visitors, midwives, occupational health workers, pharmacists and school health education co-ordinators. Eighty nine percent currently obtain leaflets from health promotion units, with the exception of health visitors, professionals are largely satisfied with the units' service. Seventy six percent use commercial or sponsored leaflets primarily because of the large numbers and topics that are available. The numbers and type of leaflets used were found to vary across the professions. All professionals see an increasingly important role for leaflets in their work. A number of them, pharmacists and occupational health workers in particular, saw the numbers they use rising. These views were accompanied by lower levels of belief in a leaflets ability to increase knowledge and behaviour as well as lower levels of satisfaction with current leaflet use and a concern over the public's reception of leaflets. Methods of leaflet distribution to the public largely reflect the professionals' work contexts. Most popular were handing out leaflets with advice, leaving them in a public place and using them as a back-up to a meeting. A number of contradictions emerge between distribution practices and perceived effectiveness. Few professionals thought leaving leaflets in a public place was effective, and few health visitors and midwives believed giving leaflets to the family of a client was effective despite large numbers doing so. The implications of these findings for health promotion policy and practice are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0268-1153
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:58

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