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[Evaluation of health education material according to epidemiological standards applicable to chronic diseases.]

De beoordeling van voorlichtingsmateriaal over roken en lichamelijke activiteit aan de hand van epidemiologische maatstaven


This study was conducted to obtain information to what extent recent epidemiological knowledge is used in health education material, aimed at prevention of chronic diseases. 79 national obtainable health education brochures regarding smoking and physical inactivity were screened and analysed using content analyses. Content analyses, described by Holsti, compares the content of the health education brochures with a 'standard'. Results show that in general the content of the screened health education materials is in agreement with recent epidemiological insights. For instance, much attention is given to the relation between smoking respectively physical inactivity and chronic diseases, health effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), in particular with respect to children's health, and the importance of regular physical activity. Compared to the bulk of evidence in scientific literature, little attention is given to quantifying the health effects due to smoking, the favourable short-term effects of quitting smoking, favourable effects of quitting smoking versus small disadvantages of increases in bodyweight after quitting and finally the importance of moderate physical activity, both at younger and older age. One of the tasks of the Dutch Focal Point on the Prevention of Chronic Diseases is to create 'state-of-the-art' publications, based on recent epidemiological literature, about what is known of causal factors of chronic diseases. This study points out that this action fulfills a need and can be broadened to other relevant health education issues. Results of this content analysis should be discussed with the proper organizations.

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