Theme: Social Science & Policy Research Year: 2015
The diversity of communities affected by viral hepatitis and the changing profile of hepatitis C treatment and prevalence make it difficult to develop relevant and engaging health promotion resources. Publications must be practical, respectful, culturally appropriate and suitably targeted to deliver health promotion messages successfully.
During the Staying Safe research project (Centre for Social Research in Health, 2015), Treloar et al found that little development has occurred in health promotion messages over 20 years. Limited targeting of resources to diverse audiences reduced effective uptake of messages.
The peer-based storyline process Drawing Them In incorporates education and creative workshops to produce the illustrated Transmission Magazine. This low-literacy publication is produced three times a year for people affected by viral hepatitis in NSW.
I examine the 12 recommendations from the Technical review of hepatitis C health promotion resources (Winter et al, 2011) and use them to evaluate the Drawing Them In model of resource production to identify benefits of and challenges to effective health promotion messaging.
Drawing Them In and Transmission Magazine demonstrate a targeted and engaging model of health promotion and community engagement that addresses many of the challenges identified by Winter et al and Treloar et al.
Drawing Them In participant evaluations show both actual and self-reported increase in knowledge about hepatitis C prevention and management as well as self-reported increased engagement with health and community services.
The defining features of Drawing Them In – active involvement at all stages of peers from key affected populations, alongside a wholistic health education approach informed by health literacy principles – provides a strong model for the production of effective and appropriate hepatitis C health promotion resources.