Persuasion with pictures: Piloting a breastfeeding image aimed at children
Authors: Ireland, J. and Van Teijlingen, E.
Journal: British Journal of Midwifery
Ideas about infant feeding are formed earlier than previously assumed. School-aged children have thoughts on how they might feed their future babies. Based on inoculation theory, an image, was designed and pilot-tested which would promote breastfeeding to children as a 'natural' behaviour at an age when other influences have not pervaded their consciousness. Delegates to a breastfeeding conference were invited to view the image; asked for positive and negative feelings about it; and to rate their overall feelings. Demographic data were gathered. Written comments were analysed thematically. More negative than positive comments were made. Those giving more extreme ratings on the quantitative questions also made more extreme comments in the open-ended sections. Most negatives were about the art work itself rather than the health promotion message. Using art work in health promotion has specific strengths and weaknesses which include, for example, that art stimulates reactions. These reactions are themselves influenced by personal tastes, culture and the emotions it may or may not evoke. More generally, pilot studies using a mixed-methods approach can help improve the design of breastfeeding images and, consequently, that of health promotion interventions.
Preferred by: Edwin van Teijlingen