Run across a six-state region (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming), the Don’t Kid Yourself campaign was created to help reduce incidences of unintended pregnancies. Campaign development began with the creation of a steering committee which consisted of representatives from each state and the Public Health Service regional office. The steering committee met with the selected contractor and subcontractor to define key parameters of the project and refine goals and objectives, identifying the target audience as sexually active women aged 18-24 with a household income of less than 200% of the poverty level. Two pilot sites, Salt Lake City, Utah and Butte, Montana, were selected as pilot sites for developing and testing the campaign since they represented both large and small cities in the region, were easy to travel to, and had family planning clinics that were eager to participate. A literature review, interviews with professionals, and an environmental analysis all provided the steering committee and contractors with information on the causes of unintended pregnancies, previous approaches used to address the issue, and a snapshot of the target audience’s values and belief systems. Additionally, focus groups were conducted with women who used contraception consistently, those who did not use contraception regularly, and women who had experienced an unintended pregnancy, to better understand the target audience’s decision-making process related to the use of contraceptives and thoughts on unintended pregnancies. Results of this research led the project team to address a secondary audience – male sexual partners aged 18-24. Key behavioral objectives identified were: (1) target audience members will use an effective form of contraception every time they have sex, (2) target audience members will seek information on their birth control options, (3) target audience members will initiate a discussion with their sexual partners regarding the use of birth control, and (4) male partners will use condoms every time they have sex. Because research revealed that friends were the group most often consulted about sexual issues, it was decided that the campaign would utilize peers in developed materials to model desired behaviors and help establish social norms. Radio spots on stations favored by the target audience and ads in specific newspaper sections were used to provide basic information about birth control and where to go for more assistance. A set of posters were designed for use in community clinics, schools, businesses, government agencies, recreational facilities, and local hangouts, and two brochures were created to (1) help women understand birth control options and (2) provide guidance on how to bring up the issue of birth control and condoms with sexual partners. Drink coasters were also chosen as a medium for communicating the campaign’s main messages. All materials were reviewed by focus group participants and steering committee members before being officially implemented.
Once materials had been approved, clinics in Butte and Salt Lake City created dissemination plans for distributing materials and clinic staff were briefed on the campaign and given information on how to respond to community members should they call in. The pilot was implemented in both cities over the course of two months and its effectiveness was tracked through (1) a caller tracking sheet, (2) clinic surveys, (3) pre- and post-campaign telephone surveys, (4) media coverage tracking, and (4) blank “diaries” placed in clinic waiting rooms where patients could leave comments about the campaign. The significant differences between the pre- and post-campaign surveys in Butte included a doubling of awareness of the Butte family planning clinic as a place to go to for information, from 21% in the pre-test to 40% in the post-test. Attitudes about responsibility for birth control also changed between the pre-test and post-test surveys in a statistically significant way. Overall, 51% of the respondents reported that they had seen or heard of at least one element of the campaign. During the two months of the campaign, the participating Salt Lake City clinics experienced a 72% increase in the number of calls received to the toll-free number, though the number of clinic visits did not change. After a successful pilot, the campaign was implemented in 55 cities throughout the six states for a three-month period.
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