The Montana Radon Study: Social Marketing via Digital Signage Technology for Reaching Families in the Waiting Room

Objectives: I tested a social marketing intervention delivered in health department waiting rooms via digital signage technology for increasing radon program participation among priority groups.

Methods: I conducted a tri-county, community-based study over a 3-year period (2010–2013) in a high-radon state by using a quasi-experimental design. We collected survey data for eligible participants at the time of radon test kit purchase.

Results: Radon program participation increased at the intervention site (t38 = 3.74; P = .001; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.8, 16.0) with an increase in renters (χ21,228 = 4.3; P = .039), Special Supplementary Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children families (χ21,166 = 3.13; P = .077) and first-time testers (χ21,228 = 10.93; P = .001). Approximately one third (30.3%; n = 30) attributed participation in the radon program to viewing the intervention message. The intervention crossover was also successful with increased monthly kit sales (t37 = 2.69; P = .01; 95% CI = 1.20, 8.47) and increased households participating (t23 = 4.76; P < .001; 95% CI = 3.10, 7.88).

Conclusions: A social marketing message was an effective population-based intervention for increasing radon program participation. The results prompted policy changes for Montana radon programming and adoption of digital signage technology by 2 health departments.