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Can J Commun Ment Health. 2000 Spring;19(1):21-35.

[The efficiency of mass media utilization in preventive health programs and mental health promotion].

[Article in French]

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Université du Québec à Hull.


This paper reviews articles pertaining to mental health prevention and promotion programs that have used mass media as a component of their program. The programs are analyzed according to four roles that media can play in health promotion programs: promotion, education, complementarity, and support. The relationship between the function assigned to the media and the effects of the programs in changing knowledge, attitudes, or behaviour is explored. When mass media are used alone, they seem to be powerful in recruiting people into groups or social services and in enhancing knowledge and changing attitudes. But when it comes to changing behaviour, mass media by themselves have limited impact. This type of change is more likely to occur when media are combined with face-to-face intervention. Finally, some issues involved in improving the use of mass media in mental health are discussed.

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