Publication name: 2014/15 Evaluation of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Date: 20 February 2015
Description: With the Scottish Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening programme now fully operative, an evaluation of the AAA public information materials was commissioned to inform the programme’s wider evaluation and future communications work.

Its aim was to assess suitability and effectiveness of the materials for the target groups and provide recommendations for refinement. It also assessed whether materials supported individuals to make an informed choice to attend screening, or not.

Thirty-six depth interviews were conducted amongst men with various screening outcomes (from all clear to large aneurysms) and men who hadn’t attended. Three mini-groups were also held with their wives and partners.

The results showed that the materials were effective in addressing the target audience’s informational needs. This positive impact was evident across the socio-economic spectrum and all target populations. When read, they enabled informed decision making at an individual level.

However, the study found there may be scope to increase engagement amongst those less inclined to attend screening (e.g. those reticent to get health checks). Furthermore, a lack of knowledge about AAA and low awareness of the screening programme could also sometimes hinder engagement with, or receptiveness to the materials on initial receipt. This highlighted the importance of addressing this to better prepare target audiences and promote wider discussion of the programme - a factor found to be key in encouraging consideration and attendance.

Recommendations therefore included minor changes to the materials and suggested the need for a heavier weight campaign (including suggestions for additional media channels) to raise awareness.
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