Publication Details

Evers, U., Jones, S. C., Caputi, P. & Iverson, D. C. (2011). Combining the health belief model and social marketing to develop a community-level campaign about asthma for older adults. 10th national emerging researchers in ageing conference: Abstracts and proceedings (pp. 117-125). Australia: Emerging Researchers in Ageing.


This conceptual paper provides a rationale for combining health behaviour theory with a social marketing framework in order to develop a community-level asthma campaign for adults aged 55 years and older. The prevalence of asthma in older adults in Australia is approximately 10%, higher than in many other countries, and asthma mortality increases with age. In addition, older adults' perceptions of asthma causes and treatments are often inaccurate. Many older adults believe that asthma is a childhood disease and that the effects of the condition are relatively minor and would not impact on daily life. In order to address these misperceptions, it is useful to utilise the constructs of the Health Belief Model in conjunction with a framework for the development and implementation of a health promotion effort. The social marketing framework is directly aligned with the most successful methods of promoting health to older adults; tailoring health messages (promotion) to individuals and the community that they are living in, actively involving the older adults themselves to understand their health beliefs and behaviours, empowering individuals by reducing barriers to action (price), enabling individuals to take control of their health (product) through increased knowledge, and ensuring ease of access (place) to health messages and promotional activities. The segment of the population aged 55 years and over not only has a demonstrated need for asthma awareness but also has been largely ignored by past asthma awareness activities. To extend the efforts of previous health promotion efforts, a campaign must be developed, implemented and evaluated to specifically target older adults about asthma to address their low perceived susceptibility to, and severity of, the condition. This paper presents a conceptual framework for the application of the Health Belief Model and social marketing theory to influence the asthma perceptions of older adults.