How to save a life: public awareness of a national mass media take home naloxone campaign, and effects of exposure to campaign components on overdose knowledge and responses

H.R. Sumnall*, A.M. Atkinson, M. Anderson, A. McAuley, K.M.A. Trayner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Take home naloxone (THN) programmes are effective at reducing opioid related mortality, but require high levels of distribution, including to the general public. Mass media campaigns can be effective in improving public understanding of a topic and encouraging behaviour change. Whilst mass media campaigns focusing on naloxone have been developed internationally, there is a lack of research on their potential impact. We investigated the effects of components of a recent national mass media campaign (Scotland, UK) designed to improve public awareness of drug related deaths, and readiness to intervene.

Methods: We undertook a cross-sectional online experimental study with a randomised design, conducted with a nationally representative sample. Participants (N = 1551; 52.6% female; age 46.1±16.5 years) were assessed on overdose knowledge and readiness to intervene after presentation of eight combinations of campaign components.

Results: Compared to a basic campaign description, exposure to all types of campaign component were associated with higher overdose knowledge (p < .001), but not knowledge of what to do in response to an overdose (p = .374), or readiness to intervene (p= .286). The greatest effects were associated with a media rich audio-visual resource (animated video with a popular song on the soundtrack, and narrated by a well-known actor).

Conclusion: Our data suggest that harm reduction is an appropriate topic for large-scale mass media campaigns. However, effects may be limited to knowledge and awareness raising in the general public, and may be related to the types of media used. Audience segmentation is important and more general messaging about drug related deaths may be more appropriate for the majority of audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104111
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Early online date8 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • mass media campaign
  • naloxone
  • drug related deaths
  • stigma
  • Naloxone
  • Stigma
  • Drug related deaths
  • Mass media campaign

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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