Shocking a Community Into Action: A Social Marketing Approach to Cardiac Arrests

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Social marketing techniques have enhanced the success of programs designed to improve the health outcomes of individuals or communities when adopting new health behaviors. Current research suggests, however, that behavior change models, when added to social marketing techniques, could result in even greater success in changing health behaviors and health outcomes. This retrospective analysis of the results of a Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Trial, designed to improve a community's response to cardiac arrest, tests this proposition. Data from one of the 24 participating PAD Trial sites were analyzed and interpreted from a social marketing and behavior change model perspective, to assess the success in changing a community's response to cardiac-arrest victims in 61 residential buildings that participated in the PAD Trial in New York City (NYC). The findings suggest that to improve the success of community-based, emergency response systems to cardiac arrest victims, health programs must first assess the community's awareness of the health problem and their willingness to change behaviors before designing and implementing social marketing programs for health behavior change.



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