Reviews efforts to assess the effectiveness of television programs on changing health behaviors. The relatively limited literature to date has featured primarily correlational studies which permitted no causal conclusions. The few experimental studies available present a mixed picture. Numerous methodologic problems beset any effort at assessment of effectiveness. Perhaps the greatest difficulty is using a design that permits true experimental manipulation on a relevant sample without contamination. The several methodologic problems and some potential means of surmounting them are discussed.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.