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Social marketing to address attitudes and behaviours related to preventable injuries in British Columbia, Canada
  1. Jennifer Smith1,2,
  2. Xin Zheng1,
  3. Kevin Lafreniere2,
  4. Ian Pike1,2,3
  1. 1 BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  2. 2 The Community Against Preventable Injuries, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  3. 3 Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Jennifer Smith, BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, F508 4480 Oak St, Vancouver, British Columbia V6H 3V4, Canada; jsmith{at}


Background Social marketing is a tool used in the domain of public health for prevention and public education. Because injury prevention is a priority public health issue in British Columbia, Canada, a 3-year consultation was undertaken to understand public attitudes towards preventable injuries and mount a province-wide social marketing campaign aimed at adults aged 25–55 years.

Methods Public response to the campaign was assessed through an online survey administered to a regionally representative sample of adults within the target age group between 1 and 4 times per year on an ongoing basis since campaign launch. A linear regression model was applied to a subset of this data (n=5186 respondents) to test the association between exposure to the Preventable campaign and scores on perceived preventability of injuries as well as conscious forethought applied to injury-related behaviours.

Results Campaign exposure was significant in both models (preventability: β=0.27, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.35; conscious thought: β=0.24, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.35), as was parental status (preventability: β=0.12, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.21; conscious thought: β=0.18, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.30). Exposure to the more recent campaign slogan was predictive of 0.47 higher score on conscious thought (95% CI 0.27 to 0.66).

Discussion This study provides some evidence that the Preventable approach is having positive effect on attitudes and behaviours related to preventable injuries in the target population. Future work will seek to compare these data to other jurisdictions as the Preventable social marketing campaign expands to other parts of Canada.

  • behavior change
  • campaign
  • public health
  • social marketing

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  • Contributors All authors have reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript prior to submission. JS wrote the first draft of the paper, revised the draft critically for content and contributed to the analysis and interpretation of the data. XZ planned and conducted the analysis and contributed to interpreting the data. KL and IP conceptualised the study design, contributed to acquiring the data and contributed to critical revisions of the draft article. IP contributed to the interpretation of the data.

  • Funding Funding for the ongoing evaluation was provided by The Community Against Preventable Injuries (grant number F14-01872).

  • Disclaimer For this study, The Community Against Preventable Injuries Board of Directors had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data; in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

  • Competing interests IP is serves as Co-Executive Director for The Community Against Preventable Injuries. KL serves as Executive Director for The Community Against Preventable Injuries.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study has been reviewed and approved by the research ethics board at the University of British Columbia, certificate #CW09-0158/H09-01604.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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