The Impact of Perceptions of Risk on Healthcare and Health Behaviours

Gohel, Rhia (2016). The Impact of Perceptions of Risk on Healthcare and Health Behaviours. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

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Abstract

Purpose: A societal response to the existence of substance misuse fluctuates between harm minimisation and prohibition. Until recently, little attention has been paid to the importance of the individual’s substance use experiences, which are vital to understanding the social and contextual reasons to understanding why someone chooses to use, and are therefore of imperative importance to facilitating the design and delivery of a substance use health promotion campaign. The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of the television adverts shown as part of the previously unstudied ‘Talk to Frank’ intervention in relation to an individual’s perceived risk of taking a substance and their intent to use substances in the future. It is also to get a better understanding of the educational experiences surrounding substance use, in order to provide information to health psychologists devising and developing health promotion campaigns concerning substance use in the future.

Design: A mixed-methods design was employed in order to quantitatively analyse the data collected from the study testing the efficacy of the ‘Talk to Frank’ intervention. To follow this, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a third of the study population to gain an understanding of their experiences of substance use education, and how this impacted their substance use experiences.

Findings: The ‘Talk to Frank’ television adverts were unsuccessful at increasing perceived risk and reducing intent to use. However, a positive correlation was found between participants’ previous substance use scores and their intent to use substances in the future. The results of the qualitative analysis indicated that participants draw on a variety of ‘primary’, ‘secondary’ and ‘tertiary’ learning experiences to enhance their understanding of substance use, which therefore affects their substance use behaviour.

Originality/value: This study calls for health psychologists and other health educators to focus on understanding the lived experiences of substance use education so that these findings can be implemented back into designing a more effective intervention.
Keywords: Health education, substance use, drugs, Public Service Announcements, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, mass media campaigns and substance misuse prevention.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/16883

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