Protocol for a systematic review of reviews evaluating effectiveness of mass media interventions for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases

BMJ Open. 2020 Jun 3;10(6):e032611. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032611.


Introduction: Timely interventions are required in order to change unhealthy lifestyles because if continued for a prolonged period of time, these become risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Education through mass media is an important factor in bringing out the behavioural change which may get missed in community-based interventions due to their limited reach. Many countries engage in mass media interventions, however, the nature of interventions and their effectiveness differs. We, therefore, describe the protocol of a systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of the mass media interventions to reduce the risk of NCDs in the general population and compare the differences in effectiveness estimates across low/middle-income countries and developed countries.

Methods and analysis: We will search The Cochrane Library, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, PubMed, Excerpta Medica Database limited to publications since 2000 to October 2019. Specific terms for the search strategy will be piloted as database-controlled vocabulary in the databases searched. The searches will include variations of the following terms: mass media, mass communication, campaign, publicity and terms for types of media, that is, print media, mobile, digital media, social media and broadcast. Study designs to be included will be systematic reviews followed by grey literature and other good quality reviews identified. The primary outcome of effectiveness will be the percentage change in population having different behavioural risk factors. In addition, mean overall change in levels of several physical or biochemical parameters will be studied as secondary outcomes.

Ethics and dissemination: The review is being done under the doctoral research which has been approved by the Institute Ethics Committee of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Dissemination will be done by submitting scientific articles to academic peer-reviewed journals. We will present the results at relevant conferences and meetings.

Prospero registration number: CRD42016048013.

Keywords: communication; mass media; non-communicable diseases; prevention; reviews; risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Media*
  • Noncommunicable Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Research Design
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic