Thursday, 19 April 2012

Our 5 Key Messages

This informal video shows the prototypes of the key messages that were created by sixteen health and social care staff in Keighley at a workshop held in February 2012.

The key messages were developed in response to our earlier research with the Pakistani origin community aged 40-65 in Bradford. The findings included:

  • the need for consistent messages to be given to people with diabetes;
  • the confusion for some people with diabetes about the difference between regular eye tests and diabetic retinopathy screening;
  • a lack of understanding about what damage diabetes does to the eyes;
  • a lack of knowledge that diabetes can cause blindness;
  • a sense of fatalism or resignation.

Discussion by workshop participants centred on 

  • how much the messages should focus on eyes, rather than messages about diabetes as a whole;
  • how hard hitting they should be; this, in the light of the research that showed that people who do attend DRS are motivated by not wanting to lose their sight;
  • how to be visually creative about how the messages are presented;
  • how many messages - from several through to a single message
  • how to  ensure the messages are persuasive and contain action that people can take for themselves.

As well as the workshop, two focus groups (one male, one female) were held with people with diabetes from the Pakistani origin community. The groups gave examples of when they had changed their behaviour in response to a health message. They told us:

Be clear – don’t beat about the bush. People change their behaviour in response to messages when either:

-       the message is clear about the consequences of not acting

-       or that what the health professional is saying chimes with their experience e.g. the message is in response to symptoms being experienced or about something that is demonstrable like being overweight.

Make sure that any action that is asked for is feasible e.g. walking regularly for a certain length of time rather than requiring someone to go to a gym. Another example was of a man asked to change his diet, when he was reliant on his daughter-in-law for meals and he didn’t like to ask her.

The women’s group felt strongly that the key messages should not just refer to eyes. They pointed out the importance of helping people to understand that diabetes is a whole body disease. They felt the messages should reflect that.

So what are the final agreed messages?

  1. Diabetes can cause blindness.
  2. There are things that you can do to help save your sight.
  3. Go to all your appointments.
  4. Look after your blood it affects your eyes.
  5. Find out more….taking this action also helps your heart, kidneys and feet.

Draft text for a leaflet:

Diabetes can cause blindness

Help your eyes by:

Going to all your appointments
- annual eye check
- annual eye photo screening
- GP diabetic health checks

Looking after your blood - it affects your eyes
- eating and drinking the right things
- taking regular exercise
- taking your medicines

Finding out more.. these actions also help your heart, kidneys and feet.
Your GP, Nurse, Optician, Pharmacists can tell you more.


1 comment:

  1. Great blog. Just read a few of your posts and will ad this to the list of blogs for our diabetes patients to look at. Keep up the good work!