Open Access Open Badges Research article

‘Get Your Life Back’: process and impact evaluation of an asthma social marketing campaign targeting older adults

Uwana Evers1*, Sandra C Jones1, Don Iverson2 and Peter Caputi3

Author affiliations

1 Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, Innovation Campus, ITAMS Building 233.G14, Squires Way, Fairy Meadow, Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia

2 Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

3 School of Psychology and the Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:759  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-759

Published: 15 August 2013



Asthma in older adults is underdiagnosed and poorly self-managed. This population has little knowledge about the key symptoms, the prevalence among older adults, and the serious consequences of untreated asthma. The purpose of this study was to undertake a multifaceted evaluation of a social marketing campaign to increase asthma awareness among older adults in a regional Australian community.


A cohort of older adults in an intervention region (n = 316) and a control region (n = 394) were surveyed immediately prior to and following the social marketing campaign. Campaign awareness, message recall, materials recognition, and actions taken as a result of the campaign were assessed in both regions. Asthma knowledge and perceptions, experience of asthma symptoms, and general health were also assessed in both regions at baseline and follow-up. Analyses were conducted to explore the effects of the campaign in the intervention region, and to examine outcomes among different audience segments.


The survey data showed that those in the target segments (Wheezers and Strugglers) had better message recall, and were more likely to report having taken action to control their respiratory symptoms. The campaign significantly increased the number of calls to an asthma information line from the target audience in the intervention community.


A theory-based social marketing campaign conducted over 3-months increased the asthma information seeking behaviours of older adults in the intervention community compared to the control community. Recommendations are outlined for future community health promotion campaigns targeting older adults.

Process evaluation; Impact evaluation; Asthma; Older adults; Social marketing; Health promotion; Knowledge; Perceptions; Message recall; Materials recognition