Smoking, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets are most prevalent among less educated citizens. And while they could strongly benefit from health information, information campaigns struggle to reach them. PhD research under the supervision of dr. Jeroen van der Waal and dr. Willem de Koster in Erasmus University’s Department of Public Administration and Sociology will focus on this problem. The research is funded by the Erasmus Initiative "Smarter Choices for Better Health".
Information campaigns against unhealthy behaviour such as smoking, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets often have little effect on the group that most often shows unhealthy behaviour.
How can it be explained that those who need it most are least responsive to information on how to improve their health? And how can we develop more effective health information campaigns for a less educated audience?
The interdisciplinary project addresses these questions by means of innovative methods. In doing so, cultural-sociological insights will be combined with deeply ingrained institutional distrust with insights from health economics and public health. The research findings will inform evidence-based health campaign materials targeted at the less educated.
The four-year project "How to provide health information to those who need it most' is part of the research programme Incentivizing Prevention: a Multidisciplinary Approach of the Erasmus Initiative "Smarter Choices for Better Health". The project is a collaboration of cultural sociologists with dr. Hans van Kippersluis of the Erasmus School of Economics, prof.dr. Frank van Lenthe of the Erasmus Medical Centre's Department of Public Health and postdoc Joost Oude Groeniger (Sociology and Erasmus MC).