Mass media interventions are used to inform the general public about health issues. There is a lack of research regarding the involvement of members of the public in the development and evaluation of mass media interventions. This study aimed to identify and explore the opinions, beliefs and views of members of the public regarding the use of media interventions for the delivery of health care messages using a draft back pain campaign looking at the level of credibility, acceptability and trust in the authority of these messages.
A qualitative study using semi-structured focus groups and a sampling frame including gender, age, socio economic groups, and experience of back pain were used in community locations with 68 members of the public.
Three main themes were identified. 1) Media consumption. 2) Credibility. 3) Specific issues surrounding the proposed sample media campaign. The use of media to provide health care information was viewed positively, with the NHS perceived as the most trustworthy source, and Government bodies viewed with scepticism. Issues surrounding the language, terminology and tone of campaigns were raised.
A closer collaboration between health care professionals and the public is advocated to achieve valuable and effective media campaigns.
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