In winter 2014, HPA and the Ministry of Health implemented a mass media campaign aimed at increasing awareness among parents and caregivers of at-risk children and young people about the causes and effects of rheumatic fever. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the campaign by assessing changes in rheumatic fever-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour following implementation of the campaign.
The study is comprised of a baseline pre-campaign survey, Phase 1, followed by a post-campaign survey, Phase 2. The pre-campaign survey was conducted in July and August 2013, prior to the campaign launch in 2014. The post-campaign survey was conducted in September and October 2014, being directly after the completion of the Winter 2014 Rheumatic Fever Awareness Campaign.
Both surveys were undertaken by telephone using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). Respondents were included in the study if they were parents or caregivers of any child aged 4 to 18 years of age and who had at least some involvement in decisions about when to take a child in their care to the doctor or a health nurse.
A total of 888 responses were collected during Phase 1 while a total of 800 responses were collected during Phase 2. There were two key groups of respondents in Phase 2: ‘Repeat’ being those who had been interviewed at Phase 1 and ‘Control’ being new respondents who had not been interviewed at Phase 1. A total of 375 responses were collected for Repeat group at Phase 2 and a total of 425 responses were collected for the Control group.
The inclusion of a Control group at Phase 2 was due to awareness and knowledge about rheumatic fever among the Repeat sample potentially being influenced from participating in the initial Phase 1 survey. Therefore, results at Phase 2 based on a repeat sample only may not have been representative of the general population. The inclusion of a Control group allowed for results between the two groups to be compared and for results to be reported separately if required.
To achieve a similar respondent profile between the two groups at Phase 2, Repeat respondents were interviewed first and then for each Repeat respondent, a Control respondent was interviewed from within the same telephone exchange (it not being feasible to match respondents at an Area Unit level via telephone interviewing).