Systematic review of the effectiveness of mass media interventions for child survival in low- and middle-income countries

J Health Commun. 2014;19 Suppl 1(sup1):190-215. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2014.918217.


Through a systematic review of the literature, this article summarizes and evaluates evidence for the effectiveness of mass media interventions for child survival. To be included, studies had to describe a mass media intervention; address a child survival health topic; present quantitative data from a low- or middle-income country; use an evaluation design that compared outcomes using pre- and postintervention data, treatment versus comparison groups, or postintervention data across levels of exposure; and report a behavioral or health outcome. The 111 campaign evaluations that met the inclusion criteria included 15 diarrheal disease, 8 immunization, 2 malaria, 14 nutrition, 1 preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, 4 respiratory disease, and 67 reproductive health interventions. These evaluations were then sorted into weak (n = 33), moderate (n = 32), and stronger evaluations (n = 46) on the basis of the sampling method, the evaluation design, and efforts to address threats to inference of mass media effects. The moderate and stronger evaluations provide evidence that mass media-centric campaigns can positively impact a wide range of child survival health behaviors.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Child Mortality*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developing Countries*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Media*
  • Program Evaluation