VMMC Evidence-Based Demand Creation Message Testing Study
There is a need to design MC communication based on strong behavioral theory and research. We previously applied the Integrated Behavioral Model (IBM) (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015) to conducted research in Zimbabwe to identify key beliefs that best explain MC motivation, and to design and pilot test messages and posters to promote MC (Montano, Kasprzyk, Hamilton, Tshimanga, & Gorn, 2014). The primary objective of the current evaluation is to test the effect of these theory- and evidence-based MC posters (designed based on the prior research) among a community-based sample of men who are uncircumcised.
We will also test the effect of the current CDC posters in a separate group of men. This will allow an evaluation of whether the posters designed based on applying the IBM in the previous NIMH research are more effective in shifting attitudes, norms and intentions, than the CDC posters, using the same outcome measures. Our primary target age group is 18 to 34, based on current modeling showing the optimal target ages to achieve the greatest impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemic with the most cost-effective targeting of males in the Zimbabwe national MC Program (Awad et al., 2015).
We will screen men for age, literacy, and circumcision status as they are recruited into the study. We will use a one-group, pre- and post-test repeated measures design, to assess the effect of exposure to the MC posters on targeted beliefs, IBM constructs and MC motivation. Men will be surveyed prior to exposure, will complete a 3-day post recall exercise, and will be surveyed again at 8-weeks post exposure.
We expect that men in the IBM MC poster exposure group will show changes in targeted beliefs, attitude, perceived social influence, personal agency, and MC motivation. Men’s reactions to the posters will also be measured. The results from this study will provide critical information that can be used to design and implement a more effective communications campaign to increase circumcision uptake among adult men in Zimbabwe.