Background Around 15% of the 100 000 injuries that occur on ski slopes in Switzerland affect the head. Protective helmets can reduce the incidence of head injuries. Bfu and national partners carried out the campaign ‘1000 injuries per day. Protect yourself with a helmet’ to motivate skiers and snowboarders to use a snow-sport helmet.
Objective To evaluate the success of the campaign objectives.
Setting Skiers and snowboarders at 20 ski resorts in Switzerland.
Participants Before, during and after the campaign, 19 740 skiers and snowboarders were observed; 8820 were interviewed.
Intervention Quantitative surveys: observations and interviews. Qualitative surveys: document analysis, qualitative interviews, analysis of the media, group discussion.
Main outcome measurements A concept, process, impact and outcome evaluation was done by an external specialised evaluation agency.
Results The measures are appropriate to the target of increasing the rate of helmet use. The main elements (posters, television advertisement, helmet testing days) of the campaign were implemented as planned. Hazard awareness and consciousness of vulnerability improved between the 2007 and 2010 winter seasons. The target value of the criterion ‘lacking comfort’ couldn't be obtained. The helmet wearing rate has greatly increased. The results show a small correlation between campaign recognition and helmet use.
Conclusion The rate of helmet use, hazard awareness and consciousness of vulnerability increased considerably. However, the impact of the campaign on the increases is unclear. First, the rate of helmet use had already risen after the first year of campaigning. Second, studies have shown that campaigns may raise awareness but not achieve behavioural change. Third, there is only a small correlation between campaign recognition and helmet use. The campaign has supported and strengthened the effect of various factors that have promoted helmet use. However, the reasons for the increase in helmet use are unknown.
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