The Student Asthma Research Team (START) program was designed to enable students to explore socio-ecological factors contributing to asthma through the use of Photovoice, a technique that gathers both photographs and personal experiences from participants. The photographs taken by and commentary from student participants were integrated into public service announcements (PSAs) intended to increase community asthma awareness and catalyze behavior change. This article evaluates the effectiveness of these student-directed PSAs at improving asthma awareness among peers and community members. Pre-PSA, immediate post-PSA, and 4 month post-PSA follow-up assessments were conducted to evaluate changes in community members' asthma knowledge and behavior. The student-directed PSAs were found to significantly increase asthma knowledge among community members, irrespective of age, gender, or race. Increased knowledge persisted through the 4-month post-PSA follow-up. Of the thirty-six participants who were successfully contacted for the follow-up survey, nearly 40 % reported meaningful behavior-change in response to the PSAs. Photovoice and media production techniques were effective in engaging adolescent students - an under-served and often disenfranchised population - in asthma health education through the development and dissemination of PSAs. The extension of participatory techniques such as Photovoice to include the creation of student-directed PSAs holds promise for engaging adolescents in public health initiatives within their communities.
- Public service announcements
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health