Community Awareness Campaign on the Importance of Preconception/Interconception Health

The Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County is collaborating with its longtime partner REACHUP, Inc. to create and implement a community awareness campaign on the importance of preconception/interconception health and its role in reducing infant mortality for Hillsborough County. Preconception health is a woman’s or man’s health before they become pregnant. It means knowing how some health conditions and risk factors could affect the woman or unborn baby. Interconception health is a kind of preconception health.  It refers a woman’s or man’s health between pregnancies.  It means making sure that a woman’s or man’s health is good before they have their next baby. This project is being funded by a grant from the Hillsborough County Health Department Office of Health Equity.

The partnership will conduct consumer research through qualitative and quantitative data methods among the targeted demographic of African American women whose babies are at the highest risk for poor birth outcomes.  Campaign strategies will be formulated according to social marketing principles in order to promote protective behaviors that lead to healthier birth outcomes for all women, especially those women who are at the highest risk.

Focus groups have been conducted to test health education messages on preconception and interconception health. The focus group questions focused on beliefs held by target group related to preconception and interconception health, desired method of communication of these messages, understandability of the message content, validity of the message in addressing the issue, ability of the message to motivate behavior change and if the message captures the listener’s attention.

A small campaign development team is currently working to establish messages and graphic design images to brand the campaign. The messages will be geared toward influencing men’s and women’s preconception health—men and women need to be healthy to make healthy babies.

A variety of advertisements will be developed depending on focus group feedback on preferred methods of message delivery. Media outlets will consist of traditional and non-traditional forms of communication depending on consumer responses.  A social media campaign also will be developed to enhance the advertising campaign.

Funder: Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County

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