Increased awareness of health and illness (physical, mental or sexual) tends to improve the uptake of healthy behavior.
Background: Health awareness programs raises consciousness about health-influencing factors (Tones et al., 2013). It fosters empowerment where an individual becomes capable of making informed choices and adopting "life-skills approach" (Ranganathan & Lagarde 2012). Substantive evidence is available to the fact that health awareness program is strongly linked to health and health behaviors. Randomized controlled trials testing the impact of health education have demonstrated that it has potential to increase the uptake of health promoting behavior and change behavior that caused illness (Yuen & Tarrant, 2014). A survey conducted by (Broekhuizen et al., 2012) found that comprehensive health awareness campaigns in North Karelia reduced consumption of the saturated fats and salts with significant transformation of dietary habits. This declined the mortality ischemic heart disease mortality by 73%. However, a weakness of evidence till date is that the not much assessment of the effect of health awareness programs has measured the education in terms of the duration of a program. The hypothesis that the effect of health promoting programs in addition to duration depends on the “nature and quality” of the learning provision is neglected. Further weakness is the short supply of this evidence being presented in Australia. Most of the evidence is available from the UK and Germany based researchers. Indigenous Australians are highly represented in obesity and Diabetes prevalence as well as other chronic illnesses (McDermot et al., 2015). This rationalizes the study being conducted in Australia and to determine the relation between long-term participation in health awareness program and increase in uptake of health behavior by people.
Research Hypothesis: The central hypothesis is that effectiveness of the health awareness program on the uptake of health behavior is more with long duration and high quality of learning provision. The dependent variables of investigation include measurement of quality of a program and the duration. The independent variable is the location of the awareness program.
Study design: For the quantitative investigation, deductive research approach and descriptive study design will be used. The research study will be conducted in Queensland in the indigenous areas with the duration of the survey being three months.
Sampling technique: A probability sampling technique primarily stratified sampling will be used in the study and the target population mainly considered are Indigenous Australians. The sample size of 167 will be selected in this study. The study includes both female and male respondents. The inclusion criteria for the study includes-
The study excludes people who are non-Indigenous and those who have not participated in health awareness programs and those belonging to urban areas.
Data collection: Both primary and secondary data will be collected for the study. The secondary data is collected from the literature review, newspaper articles, trusted websites, and books. The primary data will be collected by a survey (questionnaires based on Likert scale, interviews, telephones, website) with close-ended questions.
Statistical analyses: The primary data collected, will be analyzed by Spearman’s Rank Correlation coefficient, Mann-Whitney U-test, t-test (95% confidence level), one way ANOVA, and SPSS software. Cronbach’s alpha will be used to test the reliability of the data.
Ethical application: The applications and documents to comply with the ethical standards will be submitted to “Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Research Ethics Committee."
Limitation of the study: Geographical location may be the major limitation that may give biased data. On the other hand, different people may interpret the survey questions in a different way due to language barrier which may disturb the accuracy of results. However, the questionnaire will be prepared in a language spoken by a majority of the respondents.
The significance of the study: The study is significance in developing knowledge about how quality and duration of health awareness programs affects the uptake of the health behavior by Indigenous people in Australia. Therefore, this study assists in designing and developing programs that maximize the effectiveness and increases the success rate. Increase in health consciousness through awareness campaigns and higher engagement of people in health promoting activities will decrease the rate of debilitating conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes, and other chronic illness. Consequently, it will reduce the morbidity and mortality rate.
Broekhuizen, K., Kroeze, W., van Poppel, M. N., Oenema, A., & Brug, J. (2012). A systematic review of randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of computer-tailored physical activity and dietary behavior promotion programs: an update. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 44(2), 259-286.
McDermott, R. A., Schmidt, B., Preece, C., Owens, V., Taylor, S., Li, M., & Esterman, A. (2015). Community health workers improve diabetes care in remote Australian Indigenous communities: results of a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial. BMC health services research, 15(1), 1.
Ranganathan, M., & Lagarde, M. (2012). Promoting healthy behaviours and improving health outcomes in low and middle income countries: a review of the impact of conditional cash transfer programmes. Preventive medicine,55, S95-S105.
Tones, K., Robinson, Y. K., & Tilford, S. (2013). Health education: effectiveness and efficiency. Springer.
Yuen, C. Y. S., & Tarrant, M. (2014). Determinants of uptake of influenza vaccination among pregnant women–a systematic review. Vaccine, 32(36), 4602-4613.
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