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Report looks at effects of health promotion marketing in rural areas

Researchers studying people with disabilities in rural areas find "that a person with a disability annually experiences an average of 14 secondary conditions that affect health and limit independence," says a new report from the University of Montana Rural Institute.

Their new Rural Disability and Rehabilitation Research Progress Report #18: Marketing Health Promotion for People with Disabilities compares the relative effectiveness of active and passive techniques for marketing an exercise program to people with disabilities. 

A companion report, Barriers and Best Practices: Marketing Health Promotion for People with Disabilities: A Rural Best Practices Guideline, offers conclusions, recommendations and tips that researchers found effective for marketing an eight-week workshop, "Living Well with a Disability," and the "New Directions" physical activity program for people with disabilities.  

Researchers in the marketing study wanted to determine the "relative effectiveness of active versus passive marketing techniques for recruiting people with disabilities into an exercise program." One group was sent newsletters encouraging participants to come exercise; another group was interviewed as a way to market the exercise program. What they found, they report, is that "a 'motivational interviewing' marketing strategy was significantly more effective in getting individuals to consider and prepare for an exercise program."

Researchers found that participants who had been involved in the motivational interviews were "more likely to begin exercising at our facility than those receiving the newsletter series. This very brief intervention was more effective in moving people into the preparation stage of behavior change than into the action stage." Researchers conclude that participants need "more 'motivational interviewing' intervention to move from preparation to action." And, they say, "very few recruits moved from action into maintenance."

"Additional study data indicates this sample had a very low health-related quality of life," say researchers. "Although individuals may have been attracted to the health promotion marketed in this study, the sample's high impairment rates and overall level of limitation may require more extensive intervention in order to increase regular exercise."

For more information, contact:
Diana Spas, Information Coordinator
Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities
The University of Montana Rural Institute
(406) 243-5760
(406) 243-2349 fax




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