Effectiveness of media awareness campaigns on the proportion of vehicles that give space to ambulances on roads: An observational study

Shiraz Shaikh, Lubna A Baig, Maciej Polkwoski

Abstract


Background and Objective: The findings of the Health Care in Danger project in Karachi suggests that there is presence of behavioral negligence among vehicle operators on roads in regards to giving way to ambulances. A mass media campaign was conducted to raise people’s awareness on the importance of giving way to ambulances. The main objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the campaign on increasing the proportion of vehicles that give way to ambulances.

Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study that was based on before and after design. Three observation surveys were carried out in different areas of the city in Karachi, Pakistan before, during and after the campaign by trained observers who recorded their findings on a checklist. Each observation was carried out at three different times of the day for at least two days on each road. The relationship of the media campaign with regards to a vehicle giving space to an ambulance was calculated by means of odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals using multivariate logistic regression.

Results: Overall, 245 observations were included in the analysis. Traffic congestion and negligence/resistance, by vehicles operators who were in front of the ambulance, were the two main reasons why ambulances were not given way. Other reasons include: sudden stops by minibuses and in the process causing obstruction, ambulances not rushing through to alert vehicle operators to give way and traffic interruption by VIP movement. After adjustment for site, time of day, type of ambulance and number of cars in front of the ambulance, vehicles during (OR=2.13, 95% CI=1.22-3.71, p=0.007) and after the campaign (OR=1.73, 95% CI=1.02-2.95, p=0.042) were significantly more likely give space to ambulances.

Conclusion: Mass media campaigns can play a significant role in changing the negligent behavior of people, especially when the campaign conveys a humanitarian message such as: giving way to ambulances can save lives.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.331.12176

How to cite this:Shaikh S, Baig LA, Polkowski M. Effectiveness of media awareness campaigns on the proportion of vehicles that give space to ambulances on roads: An observational study. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(1):221-226.   doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.331.12176

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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