Emma-Lee Finch (Example iPortfolio)

Health Promotion Media and Advocacy

This unit was effective in developing my skills in respect to media and advocacy. The documents below highlight the skills learnt in developing appropriate strategies for an intervention. A High Distinction was received for this assessment.

Completing these assessments required the following academic competencies:

  • Applying discipline knowledge and concepts
  • Thinking critically and creatively
  • Accessing and synthesising information
  • Communicating effectively
  • Using technology appropriately
  • Demonstrating cultural awareness and understanding
  • Applying professional skills



1.0 Health promotion program

“Type 2, it could be you!” is a health promotion intervention program targeting males and females living in Ballajura, WA, who are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Thus, the program specifically targets people who are over 40 years of age, are overweight/obese and who do not participate in regular physical activity. The program aims to increase the target groups’ awareness of diabetes, how it develops and the associated risk factors.

Various strategies will be used to educate and inform members of the target group. Some of these include:

  • Interactive information sessions
  • Small stalls held at local shopping centres providing basic information and referrals
  • Pamphlets
  • Information packs provided by patients GP’

2.0 Strategy for health promotion program - pamphlet

Producing a pamphlet is one of the strategies used in the overarching health promotion program. The pamphlet will be used to reinforce the prevention information portrayed in the other strategies. It aims to inform and educate the reader, but also act as a document that they can keep and refer to in the future.

The pamphlet will focus on type 2 diabetes prevention, particularly the lifestyle risk factors, including healthy eating and physical activity.

3.0 Literature Review

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease affecting many Australians, and accounts for a large proportion of the burden of disease within Australia (AIHW n.d.). Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes affecting 85-90% of all people suffering from the disease (AIHW n.d). It is often called a lifestyle disease as it is common amongst people who do not participate in regular physical activity and who are overweight/obese (Better Health Channel 2009).

According to Diabetes Australia (2009a) over 1.7 million people in Australia suffer from diabetes. Furthermore, type 2 diabetes costs Australia approximately $10.3 billion including carer costs, productivity losses and obesity (Diabetes Australian 2009a).

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age, although increasingly younger people are being diagnosed with the disease (AIHW n.d.).

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s cells become insulin resistant and the pancreas is not able to produce sufficient levels of insulin for the body’s needs (AIHW n.d). When carbohydrates are consumed they are broken down into simple sugars known as glucose (Better Health Channel 2009). Glucose is the main energy source for the human body (Better Health Channel 2009). Once the food has been digested glucose is released into the bloodstream, where it moves into the cells as a source of energy (Medline Plus 2009). Excess glucose is stored in the liver or converted into fat and stored elsewhere (Better Health Channel 2009). Insulin is the hormone responsible for opening the glucose channels so glucose in the blood can pass into the cells (Better Health Channel 2009). If theses processes cannot occur efficiently glucose builds up in the bloodstream thus leading to the development of type 2 diabetes (Better Health Channel 2009).

There are many risk factors for developing diabetes, some lifestyle factors and other heredity/genetic factors, which can be seen in table 1, below.

Table 1: Risk factors for type 2 diabetes

Lifestyle Risk Factors Hereditary / genetic factors and other factors
Overweight/obese Pre-diabetes (the stage between non-diabetes and diabetes)
Lack of regular physical activity Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin
Cardiovascular disease Immediate family member with type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure 45 years and over
High cholesterol Polycystic syndrome (females)
Poor eating habits Females who have previously had gestational diabetes

(Better Health Channel 2009; Diabetes Australia 2009b; Medline Plus 2009)

Type 2 diabetes is an important health issue among Australians and the risk factors and symptoms must be made aware to all members of the public. Interventions are required as approximately 60% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented (Diabetes Australia 2009b). Interventions need to aim to increase the population’s knowledge of the disease and ways to prevent the condition.

Pamphlets are often regarded as useful sources of educational information and dissemination is regarded as a prerequisite in health care to ensure consumers participate (Paul, Redman and Sanson-Fisher 2003).

A study comparing the effectiveness of pamphlet distribution in relation to prostate screening indicates that pamphlets are a successful communication tool to enhance knowledge and alter people’s beliefs, although knowledge did not increase screening (Schapira and Vanruiswyk 2000). This information reveals that a pamphlet would be a suitable communication tool for increasing people’s knowledge regarding type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes’s awareness interventions are important as type 2 diabetes often has no symptoms, and half of people with the condition are not yet diagnosed (AIHW n.d).

The most effective methods in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes are consuming a healthy diet, participating in regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight (AIHW n.d.). It is essential that these factors are the focus of type 2 diabetes intervention programs so people are made aware of the risks and are able to the make the necessary behaviour changes.

4.0 Target group

Primary: Men and women aged 40 years and over who are overweight/obese and do not participate in frequent physical activity living in Ballajura, WA.

Secondary: Men and women aged 21 years and over living in Ballajura, WA.

Two target groups are needed as the pamphlet is designed to educate the community about preventing type 2 diabetes. The pamphlet will be primarily targeting those who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in order to reduce their likelihood of developing the disease. The secondary target group is needed as type 2 diabetes is affecting people from a younger age thus it will provide information to prevent them from developing the condition later in life.

5.0 Pamphlet Objectives

Objective 1: To increase both target groups understanding of the recommendations for physical activity.

Objective 2: To increase both target groups awareness of the food groups they should be including in their diet.

Objective 3: To increase both target groups basic understanding of how type 2 diabetes develops in the body.

Objective 4: To increase both target groups understanding of the lifestyle risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Note: all objectives should be achieved on completion of reading the pamphlet.

6.0 Development of pamphlet

Many processes will take place during, and prior to, the development of the pamphlet. Before consideration is given to the style of pamphlet a literature review will be carried out to determine the effectiveness of distributing pamphlets, the design and ratio of pictures to information. This enables the “Type 2, it could be you!” team to ensure this strategy is appropriate for the health promotion intervention program and whether it would be a successful means of communication via the target group.

As part of the larger program a focus group will be conducted with members of the primary target to determine specific strategies that will be most successful in increasing the community’s awareness of type 2 diabetes. For the purpose of this report the following assumptions will be made:

  • It was decided that a pamphlet would be an effective strategy to use as they contain a lot of information within a small document.
  • Members of the primary target group indicated that they were very ‘busy people’ and did not have a lot of time to read lengthy documents.
  • They all agreed that a pamphlet would be a successful document as it can provide sufficient information that can be read in a short period of time.
  • Participants also indicated that the pamphlet could be kept to refer to later on.

Further discussion with the focus group will determine specific information that should be included in the pamphlet. The final step in the pre-development stage is to collect and examine current type 2 diabetes pamphlets and other pamphlets covering major health issues.

From the information collected within the focus group, literature review and pamphlet examination a draft pamphlet will be developed and distributed to members of the focus group to determine its effectiveness in meeting its objectives. Informants will be asked to comment on readability, appeal, and quality of information. Adjustments will be made accordingly.

7.0 Pre-testing procedures

Before distribution among the target groups’ various pre-testing procedures will take place to ensure the pamphlet meets its specific objectives. Pre-testing will take place with members of the primary target group who participated in the focus group for the overarching program. Testing will involve discussion with members of focus group regarding the appeal, readability and understanding of the information presented. Readability tests, questionnaires, and self-tests will be given to focus group members. The self-test will require participants to answer a series of questions based on the information provided in the pamphlet. The degree to which they answer the questions will provide feedback as to how clear and appropriate the information within the pamphlet is. It is acknowledged that participants may have previous knowledge of type 2 diabetes. Each participant will be asked if they have previous knowledge of the issue and this will be taken into consideration when analysing results.

Appendix A contains the draft questionnaire that will be used to gain information from the focus group regarding the readability, likeability etc. The questionnaire aims to analyse the reader’s results regarding the personal relevance of the pamphlet, if they found it legible and interesting, if it kept their attention and whether the message was clearly understood.

Pre-testing procedures are an important process during pamphlet development as the readability of the document is an important factor to its success (Kondilis, Soteriades and Falagas 2007). The pamphlet must be suitable for the target group in order to motivate behaviour change (Kondilis, Soteriades and Falagas 2007).

8.0 Simple Measure of Gobbledegook test

Table 2 below displays the information retrieved from conducting Simple Measure of Gobbledegook (SMOG) test on the pamphlet.

Table 2: Number of polysyllabic words in pamphlet

   Number of words
 Number of words containing three or more syllables


Table 3 below is a conversion table used to determine the grade level of the document.

Table 3: Conversion table

Total Polysyllabic
Word Counts
Approximate Grade
Level (+/1 1.5 grades)

 0-2 4
 3-8  5  10
 7-12  6  11
 13-20  7  12
 21-30 8
 31-42 9
 43-56  10  15

The pamphlet targets males and females living in the suburb of Ballajura providing them with basic information on the lifestyle risk factors of type 2 diabetes and how to reduce their likelihood of developing the disease.

Results from the SMOG test should reveal that the pamphlet is at a grade level of 7 to 8 as the pamphlet is providing specialised information. Thus, there should be 13-30 polysyllabic words in the document for it to be suitable for this target group. The pamphlet contains 30 polysyllabic words, thus the pamphlet is at a grade level 8.

The reason for the higher number of polysyllabic words is due to the repetition of the word ‘diabetes’, ‘regular’, ‘physical’ and ‘activity’, as the pamphlet is discussing diabetes and also increasing physical activity.

9.0 Pamphlet dissemination

The pamphlet would be disseminated in various locations across Ballajura, WA where the target groups are most likely to attend. Another discussion with the focus group will confirm the most effective locations, and ways, to distribute the pamphlets. Based on discussions held with “Type 2, it could be you!” team members, locations include:

  • Doctor surgeries
  • Dental clinics
  • Shopping centres – part of separate strategy where small information stalls will be conducted in local shopping areas
  • Toilets and baby change-rooms in shopping centres
  • Mail
  • Internet as an online source of information

Members of the “Type 2, it could be you!” team will be required to contact medical centres and dental clinics within Ballajura, to provide them with an overview of the health promotion program and ask permission to supply them with the pamphlets. A small amount of pamphlets will be placed in a visible area of the clinic available for anyone to take (ie. next to other pamphlets or on a magazine table), where the rest will be given to members of the primary target group. This will require co-operation from staff at the clinics.

10.0 Conclusion

Through the development of a health promotion intervention program and in-turn an informational pamphlet issues associated with type 2 diabetes can be presented to the community to deepen their understanding. The target groups need to be made aware of the lifestyle risk factors as 60% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented (Diabetes Australia 2009b). Furthermore, the development of an informational pamphlet must be appropriate for the target audience in order for it to be an effective communication tool. Through the dissemination of the pamphlet and implementation of other strategies in the campaign the target group will be able to make the necessary behaviour changes needed to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Created 26/10/2010 at 15:05:24

Modified 26/10/2010 at 15:31:56