Older Audiences' Responses to Mental Health Promotion Messages

Simone Pettigrew, R.J. Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study focused on the role of motivation and ability in older audiences' interpretations of mental health promotion messages. The aim was to generate insights into the ways in which older people respond to such messages, to inform the development of mental health promotion communications. Twenty individual interviews and 12 focus groups were conducted with a total of 111 Western Australians aged 40 years and older. Interviewees were exposed to a series of mental health messages and asked to share their thoughts and feelings about the message content and style. Data analysis focused on the barriers and facilitators that influenced interviewees' acceptance of the mental health recommendations contained in the messages. The major themes evident in the data were a desire to exhibit compliance, the importance of perceived personal relevance, sensitivity to the tone of the message, literal interpretations of message content and impediments to adoption. Implications for mental health promotion are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
JournalThe International Journal of Mental Health Promotion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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