Evidence review: social marketing for the prevention and control of communicable disease

Technical report

This report provides a summary of social marketing for the prevention and control of communicable disease, with particular reference to the European context. It concludes that the international evidence base shows that social marketing can be an effective approach to behaviour change, and although the European evidence is limited, there have been some promising efforts in the area of hand hygiene and sexual health interventions.

Executive summary

As part of its ‘Insights into Health Communication’ series, ECDC has published an evidence review on the use of social marketing for the prevention and control of communicable disease, with a particular emphasis on the European context.

The report shows how social marketing principles have been successfully applied in hand hygiene and sexual health interventions, as well as highlighting the challenges ahead. It also offers insights for policy and practice such as the use of social marketing research methods in message development and dissemination.

Five international reviews and three European reviews were included in the report and include established, emergent and innovative practice.

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