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Scripta Scientifica Medica

Enhancing the transferability of health promotion policies to Bulgaria: application of a model to increase communication effectiveness

Morton Warner, Albena Kerekovska


Having a healthy population is vital for economic development. This has been recognized over many decades by countries across the developed world, including Bulgaria. But there are major threats - tobacco consumption, obesity, heart disease and the like, which are the subject of attention by the international health promotion community. This community, and the policies they produce, is dominated by the cultures which make up Western Europe, North America and Australasia. A major question in the rest of the world is whether these ‘global` policies will ‘travel` well; and what might be done, in communication terms, to enhance their trans ferability. This paper reports on research carried out in Bulgaria. It began with an analysis of the contents of the major western-based in ternational health promotion policy documents to identify expressions or ideas, contained in them that might be ‘alien` to the culture of Bulgaria, as identified by Hofstede`s Model of National Cultures. Through the use of a Delphi panel the international language was desensitised. A before and after quasi-experimental design was employed across three types of communities - urban, rural and tobacco-producing - to measure the degree to which communication was more effective using the desensitized material. These results, in most cases, showed a significant improvement. As Bulgaria joins the EU in January 2007 this study takes on broader importance. There will be many new policies to which adjustment is required at a national level; and true citizenship of Europe is dependent upon Bulgarians as a whole being able to identify with the intentions of European policies. Health promotion is only the beginning!

Scripta Scientifica Medica 2007;39(1):85-88

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About The Authors

Morton Warner
University of Glamorgan
United Kingdom

Albena Kerekovska
Medical University of Varna

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