Enticing people with arthritis to increase their physical activity is a priority for both clinicians and public health practitioners. However, our collective efforts have been marginally effective; in the United States, 44% of people with arthritis report no leisure time activity, in comparison to 36% of the population without arthritis. In addition to physical activity counseling available from clinicians, physical activity messages in the general media can motivate people with arthritis to increase their physical activity. Describing the required activity levels in concrete understandable terms, addressing the unique concerns of people with arthritis, and highlighting the most desired potential benefits of physical activity can make mass media messages more motivating, and can potentially increase effectiveness of clinician physical activity counseling.
In 2010 the CDC Arthritis Program released a revised version of the health communications campaign Physical Activity. The Arthritis Pain Reliever. The revised campaign was based on 5 rounds of audience research (24 focus groups; 91 individual interviews) on physical activity-related attitudes, perceptions, and preferences among people with arthritis. The campaign was designed to change physical activity-related knowledge, confidence, and behavior among people with arthritis.
The revised campaign was pilot-tested in 4 communities and evaluated with a post-test only community-based survey. Results of the pilot-test surveys of people with self-report of doctor-diagnosed arthritis (N=1,214) indicate that the campaign was able to capture audience attention (42% read/heard something about relieving arthritis pain with physical activity in the last month) and increased physical activity or intention to be physically activity (16% increased physical activity in past month in response to something they heard or read, and 41% were somewhat or very likely to increase physical activity in next month).
This presentation will describe the revised communications campaign materials and highlight key learnings from the formative research that were used to revise the campaign materials. The physical activity-related challenges, facilitators, and preferred descriptors that emerged from the audience research may also be useful in shaping individual physical activity-related counseling and instructional materials.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared